Newspaper article International New York Times

5th Official Suspended by VW in Diesel Case ; Quality-Control Executive Sidelined as Union Warns against Cuts to Work Force

Newspaper article International New York Times

5th Official Suspended by VW in Diesel Case ; Quality-Control Executive Sidelined as Union Warns against Cuts to Work Force

Article excerpt

Frank Tuch, the head of quality control, is the latest to top manager sidelined in connection with revelations about deceptive engine software.

Volkswagen has suspended its top quality-control executive, a person close to the company said on Tuesday, as the company's widening emissions scandal is sidelining some of the carmaker's most seasoned managers.

Frank Tuch, 48, Volkswagen's head of quality control, is the fifth high-ranking executive to be suspended in connection with revelations that 11 million Volkswagen vehicles were equipped with software designed to trick emissions tests. Mr. Tuch's suspension was reported last week by Bild, a German newspaper.

Meanwhile, the union that represents rank-and-file Volkswagen workers publicly complained on Tuesday that the company was using the crisis as an excuse to plan job cuts. The union also criticized management as having a "rigid hierarchy" in need of change.

The tone of the statement was unusually harsh for the union, IG Metall, which has traditionally been known for its close relations with Volkswagen management. It illustrated another way the emissions scandal is taking its toll. The company has already scaled back investment in new projects by billions of euros in order to absorb the cost of fixing the affected cars and deal with a growing number of lawsuits from unhappy owners.

Volkswagen probably has a deep enough pool of managers to find replacements for the suspended executives, said Jeffrey A. Thinnes, a former Daimler executive who works as a consultant for European companies on compliance and ethics issues.

But Mr. Thinnes said in an email that management turmoil could have a demoralizing effect. "With each bit of news that continues to hit the press, motivation and productivity can be impacted," he said. "That is the risk as I see it."

Mr. Tuch had been head of quality control at Porsche starting in 2002, before the sports car maker was acquired by Volkswagen in 2009. He was credited with helping Porsche to reach the top of J.D. Power ratings of owner satisfaction, defying stereotypes of sports cars as finicky, high-maintenance machines.

Mr. Tuch left Porsche in 2010 to work at the British sports car maker Lotus, but he soon returned to become overall head of quality control for the Volkswagen Group. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.