The chief executive of Volkswagen has quit the car firm, claiming he was not involved in the emissions tests scandal that has rocked the automotive industry and could lead to one of the biggest ever legal claims.
The resignation of Martin Winterkorn (pictured) follows five days of growing pressure on VW after the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accused the carmaker of using a defeat device to cheat emissions tests on diesel cars.
The crisis could lead to millions of VW and Audi vehicles being recalled around the world and legal claims from motorists. Leigh Day, a UK law firm, said that if VW also manipulated tests in Europe then UK consumers could claim compensation.
Almost 50 class action lawsuits have already been filed in the US and Canada by law firms including Clifford Law and Hagens Berman. German public prosecutors are also examining a collection of legal claims that have been filed by private individuals. The US Department of Justice and the New York attorney general have launched criminal investigations.