In the ongoing clusterfuck known as #VWGate, Volkswagen's chief executive Martin Winterkorn quit on Wednesday saying he accepted responsibility for "irregularities found in diesel engines". However, he claimed that he had not been aware of any wrongdoing.
As per Sky News, he said:
"I am shocked by the events of the past few days.In the event that he really did not know anything about this, serious questions arise about the corporate governance within Volkswagen.
Above all, I am stunned that misconduct on such a scale was possible in the Volkswagen Group."
Software was purchased/developed that was designed to be used to fraudulently pass emission tests. The software had to be installed in cars in various countries. Both these actions/processes would have required executive approval and sign off.
Who signed off on this, and where are the records?
Volkswagen then spent a considerable time fencing with US authorities, when the data was first questioned by the US, trying to avoid admitting that it had committed fraud on a global level.
Were senior executives unaware that the US authorities were questioning the validity of the data? Somewhat unlikely surely?
I find it very hard to believe that the board knew nothing about this, if it genuinely did not know then VW's corporate governance sucks!