It's no longer a secret that Volkswagen's management was aware of the company's shady diesel emissions practices. Now, however, it's evident that this awareness included some of the car maker's top brass. American group CEO Michael Horn states that he was told of a "possible emissions non-compliance" in spring 2014, or significantly earlier than US execs had hinted at so far. Staff had supposedly told him that engineers would work with the Environmental Protection Agency to fix the problem. Clearly, that didn't happen before word of the scandal got out.
VW is already trying to make amends, including global recalls and attempts to reform its structure so that this kind of deception won't happen again. Still, Horn's admission could hint at trouble ahead for the German brand. It supports beliefs that knowledge of the emissions cheating was widespread in the company, and that many either didn't take it seriously or tried to sweep it under the rug -- the company's former CEO may not be the only major casualty by the time this is over.
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