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Volkswagen boss Martin Winterkorn resigns over emissions scandal

Volkswagen Group CEO Martin Winterkorn has announced his resignation.

In an official statement released today, the 68-year old head of the beleaguered car company said he would be leaving to make way for a fresh start, following news that VW admitted to a code in its diesel engine software that skewed emissions.

“I am shocked by the events of the past few days,” he said. “Above all, I am stunned that misconduct on such a scale was possible in the Volkswagen Group.

“As CEO I accept responsibility for the irregularities that have been found in diesel engines and have therefore requested the Supervisory Board to agree on terminating my function as CEO of the Volkswagen Group. I am doing this in the interests of the company even though I am not aware of any wrong doing on my part.

“Volkswagen needs a fresh start – also on terms of personnel. I am clearing the way for this fresh start with my resignation,” he said.

Volkswagen has not named a successor, but German media suggests Matthias Muller, boss of Porsche, is the favoured candidate.

Regulators in America have charged VW with cheating emissions tests, a charge affecting nearly half a million cars sold over the past seven years.

The problem centres around a code buried within Volkswagen’s 2.0-litre diesel engine software. The code detects when it is being driven on an emissions test cycle, and turns on its full controls. The controls are reduced elsewhere, emitting more NOx.

Read the full story on the VW emissions scandal and what it means here

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