VW’s US president leaves company

VW’s US president leaves company
© Greg Nash

Michael Horn, the president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, left the company on Wednesday, VW announced. 

Horn’s departure comes months after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accused the company of engineering several models of its diesel-fueled vehicles to skirt required emissions tests. 

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Horn testified before a U.S. House panel in October and apologized for the company’s actions, saying they were “deeply troubling.”

“I did not think that something like this was possible at the Volkswagen Group. We have broken the trust of our customers, dealerships and employees, as well as the public and regulators,” he said then. 

VW said Wednesday that Horn’s departure was mutual and he will “be leaving to pursue other opportunities effective immediately.” Horn had been with the company for more than 25 years.

“I want personally to say ‘thank you’ to Michael Horn for the great work he has done for the brand and with the dealers in the United States,” Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess said in a statement. “During his time in the U.S., Michael Horn built up a strong relationship with our national dealer body and showed exemplary leadership during difficult times for the brand,” he added.  

The EPA has accused Volkswagen of selling nearly 600,000 vehicles since 2008 that violate the Clean Air Act due to a piece of “defeat device” software that would activate pollution protections only during emissions tests. 

The company faces potentially billions of dollars in fines due to the emissions workaround. The Justice Department sued the company over the scandal in January.