Volkswagen is still reeling from their admittance that they rigged emissions tests for many of their vehicles. About 500,000 U.S. cars and trucks were affected by the issue and have been creating more pollution than they claimed to be because VW installed software that was designed to lie to emissions tests.
The scandal, which broke in September, is costing the company billions. They’re trying to find ways to keep the company going as they deal with the fallout, and to that end they’ve hired Hinrich Woebcken, formerly of BMW, to manage their North American business. Although Woebcken has stated that the United States has been and remains an integral market for the company, VW has lagged behind other automakers for years in the States. They’ve also come under fire not only for the scandal, but for how they’ve dealt with it.
To date, there is no timetable for fixing the emissions problem in the cars already on the road, nor is there one for getting the federal ban on 2016 VW diesel vehicles lifted. Those are going to have to be at the top of the company’s priority lists if they want to turn things around, not to mention doing the right thing.
VW is also planning to hire former FBI director Louis Freeh to help them deal with U.S. authorities. However, this move is being contended by labor leaders within the company, who have a majority of the company’s supervisory board seats. They feel that the company’s new compliance chief can handle the issue on her own and that they don’t need someone else as well. This conflict comes at a time when both executives and labor leaders are trying to find ways to pay the fines that VW owes without having to dismantle the company.