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The fallout from the Volkswagen diesel scandal is spreading fast to the company’s other famous brands, including Porsche and Audi, and across the Atlantic to the U.S.
The scandal reached down into the company’s engineering corps as the CEO of Volkswagen’s US business, the research and development chief from Audi and the engine chief from Porsche, which are part of the Volkswagen Group, are said to be following Volkswagen’s CEO out the door of the company, according to multiple reports Thursday.
The impending departures are a sign that the Volkswagen scandal is ready to grow to much larger proportions.
This week Volkswagen revealed it had misled regulators about the diesel emissions from its cars, which were not as clean as promised. That leading to complaints of betrayal from car owners. The Porsche and Audi developments today appeared to increase that feeling.
I drive and love my Audi but VW Group owns Audi/Porsche/others. This is about as evil as it gets given climate change. Have to think abt it.
— Doug (@Drdougboston) September 24, 2015
John Schilling, a spokesperson for the Volkswagen Group, declined to comment on the report.
Martin Winterkorn, the CEO of Volkswagen, resigned from his role on Wednesday and hinted that more executive departures might follow. "Volkswagen needs a fresh start – also in terms of personnel," he said in a statement. "I am clearing the way for this fresh start with my resignation."
The executive committee of the Volkswagen Group echoed that sentiment in a statement late Wednesday after meeting to discuss the emissions crisis.
"The Executive Committee is expecting further personnel consequences in the next days," the committee said. "The internal Group investigations are continuing at a high tempo. All participants in these proceedings that has resulted in unmeasurable harm for Volkswagen, will be subject to the full consequences."
Volkswagen stock and public perception have plummeted in recent days after it was reported last week that the company had engineered software designed to sidestep emissions testing in its four-cylinder diesel cars, violating the Clean Air Act in the U.S.
The latest set of executive departures raise the possibility that other automakers may also be selling cars that produce an illegal level of tailpipe emissions. The Transportation and Environment organization, a European group, is already pointing the finger at Audi, BMW and Mercedez-Benz, among others.
The Volkswagen Group represents some of the most well-known car brands in the world, including Audi, Porsche, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini and of course Volkswagen itself.
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