By on October 21, 2015

Volkswagen has suspended its chief of quality control for “incriminating correspondence” it found regarding its illegally polluting diesel cars, German newspaper Bild (via Automotive News) reported Wednesday. Tuch was suspended last week, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Frank Tuch is the fifth high-ranking official suspended from Volkswagen because of the scandal. According to reports, Tuch wasn’t part of the company when it developed the EA 189 engines that have become the center of the cheating scandal. The former Lotus COO and Porsche quality control officer may have known about the illegal software after he joined the company in 2010.

Tuch’s suspension is the latest in a string of reports coming from Wolfsburg that indicate the cheating scandal could be more widespread than previously reported.

When Volkswagen of America chief Michael Horn testified to a congressional committee Oct. 8, Horn said it appeared that the illegal “defeat device” created to deceive emissions tests was created by rogue engineers. Recent reports suggested that multiple generations of the software, developed for different engines, may have involved up to 30 different engineers.

Volkswagen didn’t immediately comment on Tuch’s suspension.

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26 Comments on “Report: Volkswagen Suspends Quality Chief For ‘Incriminating’ Letters...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    And I would have gotten away with it too if it weren’t for you meddling kids!

  • avatar
    Nick Engineer

    So, was he suspended because he put down on paper what was already known (or what he discovered after joining), or for not destroying the paper trail, or for not raising it up the chain?

    I’d suggest VW make a public statement to clarify because the public is cynical enough and not at all naive to give the company the benefit of doubt.

    • 0 avatar
      VCplayer

      I suspect anyone involved that left a paper trail is going to go down pretty hard. Given the German propensity to keep records of just about everything, a lot of people are probably in a lot of trouble.

  • avatar
    tresmonos

    This goes perfectly in line with the point I was trying to make on Sajeev’s article yesterday.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    What a classic German duck-face.

    Looks like half my high school class.

  • avatar
    redmondjp

    And the goat-herding continues!

    Lesson to the wise: USE THE TELEPHONE! Nobody besides the NSA keeps phone conversations.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    Anyone else NOT have a Facebook or Google+ account so you can’t get past NYT’s paywall either?

    • 0 avatar
      mitchw

      Just type the headline of any NYT article into your browser and you’ll get past the paywall. I know, why NYT set up their system this way is mysterious. If you use an iphone, switch to private browsing–poof!, no more paywall

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        Thanks!

        • 0 avatar
          johnny ro

          NYT said at the time that it would not go to great lengths to keep people from “cheating and stealing” (my words) access without paying.

          I think they have better things to do with their time and budgets.

          I went with my 10 articles a month for a while then starting paying up.

          I find that when I hit the 10 article limit a lot I go ahead and pay. I pay for two so far.

  • avatar
    mchan1

    So… The Quality Chief was suspended because he found out about the issue After he arrived.. an issue that was already there in VW.

    That means that management KNEW of the issue way back then as the Quality Chief Has to report to more Senior management and he had access to a lot of records about the matter to know what happened.

    The guy appeared to have ‘accepted’ what VW did as he stayed with VW currently and became an ‘accomplice’ after-the-fact as he was in charge of Quality control and didn’t do anything about it, IF he could. Who knows as no one from VW is talking!

    Guess the money and VW prestige was too good to pass up!

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      Or he could have been attempting to whistle-blow and was effectively gagged by higher execs. But those execs now have him on record as knowing about the malfeasance while they try to be wily enough to protect themselves?

      The Bild article gives no clue because VW ain’t talkin’, as you said.

  • avatar

    What’s bothering me, are the two-faced apologies VW has been making so far. It’s the sort of sorry of someone who got caught in the act. You can’t talk about betraying the public’s trust if it was your deliberate intention to fool everyone. Let’s not ‘Chamberlain’ this one away.

  • avatar
    Nick Engineer

    And it looks like there is already a criminal complaint in lower Saxony for a file that somehow “disappeared” after Oct 9.

    http://mobile.nytimes.com/aponline/2015/10/21/world/europe/ap-eu-germany-volkswagen-missing-file.html

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    Volkswagen Quality Chief is worthy of some sort of oxymoron award.

  • avatar
    Poppa Gilley

    If I owned one of these “dreaded’ polluters……………… I wouldn’t care less. Will ANY of us notice any difference in air quality around the world because of the VW debacle? I think not…..

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      You’re not supposed to say that. Pollution is an absolute, and that last 1/10th of 1 percent must be eliminated no matter the cost. What if it were found that 1980 emissions standards reduced pollution enough to allow nature to clean up the rest? Tens of thousands of government employees would lose their jobs, causing untold damage to the economy.

      I kid. Government employment never goes down. When prohibition ended, we had an army of government workers who had been pouring booze into storm drains, now with nothing to do. Congress came to rescue, classifying several drugs as illegal, and the booze army marched to the War On Drugs, making classic films like Reefer Madness.

      If a major reduction in EPA employment were enacted, those people would simply transfer to the expanding field of internet neutrality, or the War On (fill in the blank). Let them have their 1/10th of 1 percent and keep them from messing up something else!

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “may have involved up to 30 different engineers”

    The original article at Der Spiegel said “managers” or “persons” – no mention of engineers – although there were surely some engineers involved (much to the discredit of my profession).

  • avatar

    Really cynical view…
    VW to employees:
    “Purge your files…or else!”

  • avatar
    wmba

    It’s going to be a long time before some real leadership once again emerges at VW. By leadership I mean someone who is unassailable in authority.

    Right now, with all these executives being fired willy-nilly for either real or imagined reasons by people who are probably just as guilty, the place must be in a complete uproar.

    The only person who would accept the job of new chief in North America turned the offer down, because he wouldn’t be on the main Supervisory board but reporting to someone two layers down, so now the guy running China is going to look after NA as well. Maybe. Because who wants to be on TV at a Senate hearing in Washington having questions hurled at you by grandstanding senators? And not necessarily having any backup from what’s left of the VW bluebloods back home. You’re bound to look like a complete fool.

    Governments are going to be demanding some REAL answers from VW anytime soon, but the executives are busy playing musical chairs. Nobody wants to face the Spanish Inquisition, because nobody trusts their colleagues to bck them up. Everybody is maneuvering to try to escape blame.

    Sadly, this is all going to get a lot worse before it gets any better, if ever. The Supervisory Board people might want to expand their numbers temporarily to get more executives on board, but alas!, the organization is so atrophied and moribund, so hidebound that they cannot imagine re-inventing themselves.

    It’s a brittle company and another hard shock is going to shatter it.

  • avatar
    Von

    It’s a good insight to see what and how a company messes up, and their response to it is even better.

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