Report: 'Around 20' VW officials could be responsible for diesel scandal
Hard to believe, but responsibility for the Volkswagen Group's "dieselgate" emissions cheating scandal, which affected 11 million cars worldwide and has put the fate of the then-world's largest automaker in jeopardy, might fall on the shoulders of as few as 10 to 20 people.
See also: The Volkswagen emissions scandal: All you need to know
According to a Reuters report, a source inside VW said that the company has suspended more than 10 senior officials, including six top managers and three brand executives, as it investigates the genesis of the software "defeat devices" it admitted to including in its vehicles between 2009 and 2015 that were programmed to foil tailpipe emissions testing. However, as many as 40 employees are being investigated for their involvement in the scheme.
The number of responsible parties is important for several reasons. Not only does it affect the size of the fines the carmaker will face but also inform how many managers will need to be replaced. Both figures are extremely important to investors, as it will influence the brand's future going forward.
While the company hunts for the responsible parties, it must also come up with and present a plan to fix the affected diesel vehicles " something it has yet to do. Potential fixes include replacing current engine management software that would drastically cut fuel economy and power output or retrofitting cars with additional emissions systems.
Before such a fix has even been presented, however, Germany forced VW to recall 2.4 million of the cars, the largest recall in the country's history, starting in January 2016. Meanwhile, California reminded VW that the company has until November 20th to present a repair procedure.
The Volkswagen Group has set aside $7.3 billion to cover dieselgate costs. According to that same Reuters report, some estimates push costs as high as $38 billion, after repairs finalized and lawsuits are settled.
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