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This is hot off the press. Reuters reports that the Volkswagen Group will be turning to Porsche’s boss, Matthias Mueller (above) to take over from ex-CEO Martin Winterkorn, who resigned on Wednesday amid the on-going diesel scandal. It’s said that Mueller has the support of the 20-member supervisory board, though the company has so far declined to comment on this move.

As expected, more heads are set to roll over this major crisis. Reuters also reported that three more high ranking company executives are on the way out, including VW USA’s CEO Michael Horn, Audi’s head of R&D Ulrich Hackenberg and head of R&D at Porsche, Wolfgang Hatz. This is a serious matter, indeed.

Undoubtedly, this is the worst business crisis the company has had to face in its 78-year history.

In a separate report, German transport minister, Alexander Dobrindt, said that Volkswagen had manipulated tests in Europe too. “We have been informed that also in Europe, vehicles with 1.6 and 2.0 litre diesel engines are affected by the manipulations that are being talked about,” said Dobrindt, adding it was unclear how many vehicles in Europe were affected.

In the US, the news agency reports that at least 27 US state attorney generals are launching a multi-state investigation of Volkswagen’s representations to consumers regarding its diesel vehicles, and they will be sending subpoenas to the automaker as well.

“I am furious that the world’s leading car company willfully took steps that polluted our environment and deceived consumers,” Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh said in a statement to the news agency.

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Just to recap, not only is the US EPA lobbying for a recall of roughly 482,000 VW and Audi vehicles, the VW group is facing possible fines of up to US$18 billion (RM79 billion), as well as criminal investigation by the US Justice Department. All this had led to the company shares plunging almost 30%.

Interestingly, it’s not only VW that is facing the heat of emission regulators. Germany’s Auto Bild, has revealed that the BMW X3 xDrive20d could be emitting up to 11 times the legal limit of nitrous oxide during tests conducted by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), which is a breach of the Euro 6 limit for diesel engine emissions.

So, since this may not be a VW-specific issue, how many more automakers do you think are going to be hauled in for similar misdeeds?

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