The crisis that splashes the automaker Volkswagen has taken on a new dimension Tuesday, when the company issued a profit warning after admitting that 11 million of its diesel vehicles are equipped with emission control software that is at the heart of a scandal at United States.
The German manufacturer announced in a statement that sets aside about 6.5 billion euros (US $ 7.3 billion) in response to this scandal which undermines its reputation for integrity and its stock battering title .
The title of Volkswagen plummeted nearly 18 percent Tuesday and was close to its lowest level in four years. The title of Volkswagen had already lost 17 percent Monday, which means that the company lost about 25 billion euros in market capitalization in two days.
The scandal erupted last Friday, when the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has accused Volkswagen of rigging tests of US emissions by approximately 500,000 diesel automobiles. The manufacturer then admitted his fault.
In short, Volkswagen is alleged to have bypassed the US law on air pollution. The EPA says that Volkswagen has used a program that detects when the vehicles are subjected to official testing on emissions of greenhouse gases. Subsequently, the software disables the emission controls for normal vehicle use, which gives them more power, but also sees emit 40 times more pollutants than the legally permitted limit.
The statement released Tuesday by Volkswagen reveals the scandal affects some 11 million vehicles delivered worldwide.
The EPA ordered to correct Volkswagen cars at its own cost, but said that the owners of these vehicles did not have to act immediately. The agency guarantees that violations of the automaker does not pose a security risk and that it was still legal to drive and sell vehicles until Volkswagen has a recall program to repair.
However, the EPA said the vehicles pose a risk to public health.
Can fine of US $ 18 billion
The agency also gave an idea of the scale of the fines that could be imposed on Volkswagen. The manufacturer may have to pay up to US $ 37 500 per vehicle – for a total of more than US $ 18 billion.
South Korea has also announced the opening of an investigation and warned that Volkswagen could face a fine of US $ 3.4 billion. France, for its part claims a survey across Europe on Volkswagen’s practices and those of the French car manufacturers.
The boss will take the door Friday
BERLIN – Volkswagen boss Martin Winterkorn is going to be removed from office Friday by the Supervisory Board following the scandal on diesel engines, reported the German newspaper Tagesspiegel Tuesday on the basis of sources close to the supervisory body.
Mr. Winterkorn has lost the confidence of the Supervisory Board, says Berlin daily on the basis of its sources, unidentified. This is Matthias Müller, head of Porsche, Volkswagen subsidiary, which has to succeed him, the newspaper said.
Volkswagen could not be reached for comment on the report.
In office since 2007
Mr. Winterkorn, 68, at the helm since 2007, had emerged victorious last spring of a duel with the patriarch of Ferdinand Piëch group and had sat his grip on the group. It was theoretically be extended for two years at his post Friday until the end of 2018.
According to the German press, the most influential members of the Supervisory Board, meeting in a subcommittee called presidium should already meet Wednesday at the headquarters of the group in Wolfsburg (north) and hear Mr. Winterkorn. Volkswagen has not confirmed.