The German automaker’s quality assurance chief Frank Tuch is resigning, the Wall Street Journal reports, becoming the latest casualty of last year’s emissions scandal:
Mr. Tuch was among a group of Volkswagen executives who were suspended when Volkswagen launched its investigation of the emissions-cheating affair last year, according to people familiar with the matter, but he hasn’t been charged with any wrongdoing. Volkswagen said he resigned to pursue other interests.
Tuch’s resignation comes less than two months after CEO Matthias Müller radically reorganized VW’s senior management team, reflecting a realization that a dysfunctional management culture played a major role in allowing the scandal, which is costing the company billions of euros, to happen. The labor chief at Audi, a Volkswagen property, announced late last week that he was also pushing for changes in his organization’s leadership culture in response to the scandal, according to Reuters:
A manufacturing defect in an airbag produced by Japanese auto parts maker Takata has been linked to 10 deaths and more than 100 injuries, leading to a recall of over 28 million defective airbag inflaters containing the potentially unstable compound ammonium nitrate, but with millions of the unsafe airbags still on the road, the New York Times reports that two senators have asked the Obama administration to take action to compel manufacturers to speed up the recall of the remaining devices.
Takata appointed an independent review panel last year to find out what went wrong in its factories that allowed this product to go to market with a lethal defect, which has sent the company into a crisis and will have cost it hundreds of millions of dollars when all is said and done. In a report issued Tuesday, the panel said this lapse in quality control pointed to a more fundamental problem with the company’s culture, Bloomberg reports:
[Takata] needs to better monitor potential safety defects in its products, including establishing teams to track data from incident reports and giving quality-control personnel the ability to halt production when necessary, the independent panel of former government regulators and engineering experts said in a report issued Tuesday. “Quality needs to be something you breathe every day,” said Samuel Skinner, a former U.S. transportation secretary, who headed the review. “It needs to be a higher priority.” …