Volkswagen's (VLKAY) emissions crisis deepens today as the company admits as many as 11 million vehicles worldwide could be affected by the software they allegedly used to cheat emissions tests. VW stock is down 45% year to date and the company is setting aside billions for upcoming legal fees and fines.
CEO Martin Winterkorn says the company is cooperating with authorities and is very sorry. Thanks Martin, but if evidence supports intentional fraud, then executives must be disgorged of all executive bonuses in the offending years and those who knew about the crimes should do jail time. Fraud has become a very profitable way of doing business. The time of allowing criminal actors to hide behind corporate fines must end.
On the upside, this is all just a million more reasons for moving the world to electric cars. The time is now. See: VW emissions scandal leads to 11 million cars:
Further details of the issue emerged as German and French officials called for investigations into Volkswagen to be widened to include the entire auto industry, as regulators begin to ponder whether such deception is more widespread.
Concerns that the scandal could lead to broader damage for the industry hit the shares of car companies across Europe, with shares of Daimler AG (DDANY), BMW and French car makers Renault SA (OTCPK:RNLSY) and PSA Peugeot Citroën (OTCPK:PEUGF) all suffering sharp falls.
The state of Lower Saxony, a major Volkswagen shareholder with 20% of the car maker's voting stock, said Tuesday that the emissions allegations raised doubts about tailpipe data published by all car makers."