The head of Audi‘s research and development program, Ulrich Hackenberg, as well as Porsche‘s research and development chief Wolfgang Hatz, are both set to quit as the diesel gate rocking the Volkswagen Group continues.
Hatz has been in charge of Porsche R&D since 2011 and has previously been the figurehead behind Volkswagen’s engine and transmission developments. Additionally, Hackenberg is a well-regarded figure in the automotive industry having taken over as development chief at Audi in 2013, when he took the role left by Wolfgang Durheimer who now leads Bugatti and Bentley.
Last Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency in the United States discovered that Volkswagen had installed software on its cars to cheat EPA emissions testing. They did so by installing software which automatically switched the engine into a cleaner mode when being tested. It is reported that when running normally, the cars emit up to 40 times the pollution limit.
Volkswagen claims that there are 11 million of its diesel vehicles around the globe with the emissions-cheating software. The revelations have seen Volkswagen Group shares fall to a four-year low and will result in extensive recalls.