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Three more bosses go at Volkswagen

There'll be more empty chairs before this is finished.There'll be more empty chairs before this is finished.
There'll be more empty chairs before this is finished.Photograph by Maurizio Gambarini—AFP/Getty Images

Three more senior executives at Volkswagen AG (VLKPY) are clearing their desks.

Wolfgang Hatz, the head of research and development at the group’s Porsche unit, and Ulrich Hackenberg, board member responsible for technical development at Audi, will both leave the company as it tries to contain the scandal engulfing it, according to a report by the mass-circulation daily Bild-Zeitung.

Separately, Der Spiegel reported that Hans-Jakcob Neusser, head of development at the VW brand since 2013, will also leave.

They follow group CEO Martin Winterkorn, who quit already on Wednesday while denying any knowledge that the group had doctored tests measuring its diesel vehicles’ emissions over a number a years.

The three are long-time company insiders who had responsibility for technical issues at the time that the company installed the ‘defeat devices’ into the software in its cars, according to Bild and Spiegel.

As reported, the Environmental Protection Agency found that the cars’ software was configured to give deceptively low emissions readings while being tested in lab conditions, but to switch back into a mode that released many more times than the legal limit of harmful emissions on the open road.

None of the three rumored victims is a member of the group management board, leaving Winterkorn (who had overall responsibility for technical issues at the group level) the only one of the company’s most senior managers to lose his job so far.