Volkswagen believes the blame for its emissions-cheating diesel-engine software may lay with no more than 20 or so people, according to an unnamed source speaking to Reuters. The software allowed the automaker’s diesel cars to fraudulently pass government tests, and it will cost the company billions of dollars.
“The number of people responsible will not be confined to a handful,” the source said. “This should be a two-digit number in the range of between 10 and 20.” The company’s internal investigation, now with auditing firm Deloitte at the helm, is focused on as many as 40 employees, according to Reuters. The R&D directors from Audi, Porsche, and VW already have been indefinitely suspended, if not officially fired. Earlier reports from German outlets have said as many as 30 people would ultimately be dismissed.
Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller has not publicly commented on the investigation or hinted at any specific people, other than making blanket statements that the company would “uncover the truth and learn from it” and levy “severe consequences” upon whomever is deemed responsible.