German regulators claim not knowing about the automaker's emissions testing evasions until quite recently, and Dobrindt didn't begin a fact-finding mission into the situation until just this week. Environmental agencies around the world have also begun their own inquiries into the scandal, including in Canada, South Korea, and many countries in Europe. In the US, where the story originally broke, the Department of Justice has started a criminal investigation into VW, and a maximum fine from the Environmental Protection Agency could tally $18 billion.
The automaker has responded so far by setting aside about $7.3 billion to fix the affected models. CEO Martin Winterkorn is also already gone, and Porsche boss Matthias Müller is taking the top spot. The company's next moves still aren't clear, though. "VW needs to be very open about what has happened, how it was possible that this could happen to make sure that this never happens again in the future," an anonymous, top shareholder in the company said to Reuters.