Volkswagen AG's top U.S. executive steps down nearly six months is stepping down nearly six months after the German automaker admitted to cheating emissions tests on 580,000 diesel engines. Julian Satterthwaite reports.
The emissions cheating scandal seemingly claiming another top name at Volkswagen. The company's US chief stepping down with immediate effect. Michael Horn heading for the exit nearly six months after VW admitted cheating on pollution tests for around 580 thousand cars. No word from Horn or the company why he had to go right now. The German has been the face of the company in the US since the scandal broke. In October he told the House of Representatives that top execs didn't know of the cheating. He said it was the work of a few individuals. Now Horn's departure comes as VW negotiates with authorities over a fine and potential fixes for the problem. Earlier in the week the company's union boss pleaded with regulators to consider what a penalty might mean for jobs: SOUNDBITE (German) WORKERS UNION BOSS AND MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS AT VOLKSWAGEN AG, BERND OSTERLOH, SAYING: "If that fine - which in its amount is a first for Volkswagen - should become a threat to the future of the company, then there will be extensive social costs. Not only at our US plants but also in Europe and elsewhere. We do hope the US authorities will consider that dimension." The final cost of the scandal for the firm still very uncertain - but certainly large. VW opting to delay reporting annual results until the picture is a little clearer.