Volkswagen executives may rotate in and out of key positions with the company to increase oversight and possibly reduce the chance for another massive cheating scandal that has engulfed the automaker, Reuters reported (via Welt am Sonntag).
Supervisory board chairman Hans Dieter Pötsch told the German newspaper that the automaker would consider steps such as rotating engineers on a regular basis and developing key components with multiple layers of oversight would help change a corporate culture that pressured workers into cheating emissions standards.
“We need a culture throughout the Group, which not only tolerates different opinions, but permits errors. It is important that mistakes are made only once,” Pötsch told Welt am Sonntag.
A number of Volkswagen engineers cheated on tests used to determine carbon dioxide emissions because goals set by former group CEO Martin Winterkorn were too demanding and difficult to achieve, reported German outlet Bild am Sonntag.
The report was “broadly confirmed” by Volkswagen, stated The New York Times. It’s believed goals set by Winterkorn, which would have made Volkswagen vehicles cleaner than required by European regulations, pressured the engineers to manipulate the tests as they were afraid to admit they could not meet those goals.
The engineers pumped up tire pressures to reduce rolling resistance and put diesel in motor oil to make the vehicles more fuel efficient, thus producing less carbon dioxide. The practice “began in 2013 and carried on until the spring of this year,” reported Automotive News.
According to Germany’s Bild tabloid, the next Volkswagen personnel to be shown the door could be three people integral to powertrain development during the time when vehicles were fitted with “defeat devices”.
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi Board Member for Technical Development; Wolfgang Hatz, Porsche Board of Management; and Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neußer, Head of Powertrain Development at the Volkswagen Group are rumored to be the next executives and managers to be fired, though a final decision won’t be made until Friday.
Associated Press reports General Motors has placed two engineers on paid leave as “an interim step” in the investigation conducted by former U.S. attorney Anton Valukas. Spokesman Greg Martin declined to name the two engineers in question.
Automotive News reports the repairs of some 2.6 million vehicles affected by the 2014 General Motors ignition switch recall will be delayed by one week as the needed part slowly enters into the automaker’s dealership network. Though most dealers thought they would be receiving the part Monday, GM spokesman Kevin Kelly insisted the part was set to arrive sometime during “the week of April 7”:
We plan to send letters this week informing affected customers that parts are arriving at dealerships and to schedule a service appointment with their dealer. Repairs are likely to begin to follow soon after the customer letter mailing.
Until then, dealerships may face service backlogs, especially with affected vehicles already on the lot that cannot be sold until they are repaired, which can only happen once customer vehicles go through the 30-minute swap. On the other hand, while dealers have noticed some frustration from their customers, the majority of their base was found to be patient with the status of the repair plan.
The Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress held in Detroit every April serves a number of functions for the automotive engineers’ professional association.