Daily Management Review

As Probes Multiply, Volkswagen Says 11 Million Cars Hit by its US Emission Scandal


As Probes Multiply, Volkswagen Says 11 Million Cars Hit by its US Emission Scandal
As investigations of its diesel models multiplied, German car maker Volkswagen AG said the scandal over falsified U.S. vehicle emission tests could affect 11 million of its cars worldwide.

The scandal has also intensified pressure on company CEO Martin Winterkorn.

A German newspaper reported that a critical meeting of senior supervisory board members to decide the future of Winterkorn's was brought forward to Tuesday from Wednesday.

Earlier another German newspaper Tagesspiegel had reported the the board would replace 68-year-old
Winterkorn with Matthias Mueller, the head of the automaker's Porsche sports car business.

Spokesperson for Volkswagen denied both the reports. In a video message posted on the company's website in which he repeated his apology for the scandal, Winterkorn did not mention anything about his future in the company.
But a key Winterkorn ally withheld public support for the chief executive.

"I don't want to preempt the upcoming intense deliberations and will not comment on details or any consequences," Stephan Weil, head of the German state of Lower Saxony, told reporters in Hanover when asked about Winterkorn's future.

Earlier this year, Weil, a supervisory board member representing Volkswagen's second-largest shareholder, had helped Winterkorn fend off a challenge to his leadership by long-time chairman Ferdinand Piech and earlier this month backed the CEO's contract extension.

There was almost a drop of 20% in the shares of the largest car company of the world in terms of sales on Monday after news about the scandal broke out on Friday. On Monday the company admitted that it had indeed fudged with the software that falsified emission rates and duped the emission standards in the US. The software that was installed in the diesel cars of the company in the US had deceived U.S. regulators measuring toxic emissions.

On Tuesday, the company stocks tumbled another 20 percent to a four-year low after some countries in Europe and Asia announced their decision to launch investigations themselves into similar matters of the company. Preference shares were down 19.7 percent at 106.1 euros .

More than $30 billion was wiped off the company coffers at the lowest point of the decline in the preference and ordinary shares.

To help cover the costs of the biggest scandal in its 78-year-history, Volkswagen said it would set aside 6.5 billion euros or $7.3 billion in its third-quarter accounts which is expected to blow a hole in analysts' profit forecasts.

The company also warned that the aforesaid amount could rise following revelations about a "noticeable deviation" in emission levels between testing and road use in the diesel cars with so-called Type EA 189 engines that have been built into about 11 million Volkswagen models worldwide.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Volkswagen could face penalties of up to $18 billion for cheating emissions apart from the lawsuits and damage to its reputation that could hit sales of the German auto manufacturer.