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More VW Executives Face Fallout in the Clean Diesel Emissions Scandal

21 October 2015No Comments

In a series of moves that has reshuffled Volkswagen Group’s upper executive management, VW head of quality control, Frank Tuch, was the fifth individual employed by Volkswagen to be suspended or removed from the company at its company headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany. The executive suspensions, in addition to the resignation of CEO Winterkorn in late September of 2015, follow public revelations of the company’s global emissions cheating scandal.

Though Volkswagen declined to speculate on its former or current employees according to a press statement, news media reports indicate that Tuch was the highest ranking VW executive in the company’s quality control division. With a responsibility scope including some one hundred automotive factories for all Volkswagen brand and affiliated brand vehicles, Tuch, aged 48, was one of the presumed to be many corporate casualties in light of an internal investigation being conducted by Volkswagen in an effort to rehab its now tarnished corporate reputation and operating culture. According to speculation in the news media and throughout the industry, Tuch almost certainly was aware of the presence and proliferation of emissions defeat software configurations in a number of vehicles since his rehiring by Volkswagen Auto Group to fill this specific role in 2010 upon the request of then CEO Winterkorn.

To date, Tuch was the fifth top-tier executive removed from daily responsibilities at the company since the resignation of former CEO Winterkorn, other VW executives released from the company in the past month, the four other VW executives include:

  • Wolfgang Hatz, former head of Engine and Transmission research and development for all Volkswagen international brands, and presumably, with intimate involvement in the perpetration of the emissions fraud software place as a hidden testing configuration in the engine control module of some 11 million cars globally
  • Ulrich Hackenberg, former head of Business Development for Volkswagen’s global operations, with a prior stint as VW brand development chief beginning in 2007 until 2013, which covers the majority of the years in which the company most prolifically distributed vehicles containing the hidden emissions testing defeat devices
  • Falko Rudolph, a former head of diesel motor research and development likely involved in the creation of the clean diesel TDI engines failing to meet emissions standards prior to his transfer to the management of a single VW factory sometime in 2013
  • Heinz-Jakob Neusser, former head of Research and Development at Volkswagen during the period of increasing reliance upon emissions defeat devices to meet emissions standards globally

These individual suspensions mandated by Volkswagen, however, leave the managing board of directors of the company untouched and intact, save for the early resignation of former CEO Winterkorn in the immediate aftermath of public disclosures by the EPA and others concerning rampant emissions cheating and consumer fraud perpetrated by Volkswagen. 

References:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2015/10/20/volkswagen-emissions-scandal-investigation-suspension/74262268/

http://www.wsj.com/articles/volkswagen-suspends-quality-control-chief-1445345666

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