by Benson Agoha | Technology
Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn has said he is stepping down in the wake of an emissions testing scandal that has engulfed one of Germany's most successful brands.
His resignation came after he took the hot-seat during a VW board meeting to discuss the crisis. He maintained he did not wrong and said: “I am doing this in the interests of the company even though I am not aware of any wrong-doing on my part.”
|* Martin Winterkorn|
And as Investors backed his move, VW's share price rose 4.3 per cent, reversing huge losses in the immediate wake of the outbreaks of the news.
His offer came just two days before his contract was due for renewal on Friday. Despite his exit VW is expected to face a criminal investigation in the US, France, Germany, South Korea many other possible aggrieved countries.
The scandal has wiped billions off Volkswagen's value since the start of the week, although yesterday its share price closed up more than five per cent.
His offer come just one day before his contract was due for renewal tomorrow.
Some 10 millions vehicles manufactured by Volkswagen are thought to be affected and for which the auto-maker has set aside billions for expected recall and correction of the affect vehicles.
|* Angela Merkel visit VW at the Auto Show 2015. (Credit: VW)|
On the heal of those calls, the US watchdog announced it was beginning investigation into the allegations, which states that Volkswagen fits a compromising software into its vehicles, making it possible to evade emission levels.
|* Cutaway of a metal-core converter|
The latest scandal is something of a shock and has had many wondering whether any manufacturers has nothing to hide. Moreover, Germany is a trail-blazer in the emission control effort, with many cities now listed as the `Green Zone'.
And German auto makers were among the earliest auto manufacturers in Europe to control car emissions and implement anti-air-pollution laws.
By the turn of the millennium, vehicles of certain age were banned from the roads and many others recalled for customization. Recalled vehicles were affixed with Catalyzers or catalyctic converters to process and convert toxic exhausts emissions into less toxic pollutants before they hit the environment.
In 2006 an anti-air-pollution law began a process that now makes it mandatory for drivers in Germany to have a special environmental sticker called (Umweltplakette) on their cars in order to enter the “green zones” of many German cities and towns.
By 2012, many German cities had been listed in Environmental Zones, while the remaining ones are looking to join soon.
As many countries moved to investigate the allegations, Winterkorn's resignation may only serve to fuel the allegations rather than win back public trust.