A year ago, Volkswagen AG plunged into the worst crisis in its history after revelations it flouted environmental regulations by rigging millions of diesel cars to cheat on emissions tests. The allegations cast the company as putting profit before public health, and the fallout was harsh and swift. After days of turmoil, including an awkward video apology, Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn stepped down in disgrace. The value of Europe’s largest carmaker dropped by as much as 29 billion euros ($32.6 billion), as criminal and regulatory investigations were opened around the globe. While the recovery efforts led by new CEO Matthias Mueller haven’t always been smooth, the German carmaker has shown surprising resilience. The stock price has climbed 40 percent since its low in October, consumers still buy VW cars, finances are intact, and the company is investing in the future even as it absorbs nearly 18 billion euros in fines and clean-up costs.
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