As Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn stepped down Wednesday over the company\u0026#039;s large-scale diesel emissions-fixing scheme, consumer advocates charged that the resignation does not recuse the corporation itself from paying for the harm it has done.\u0022VW must still pay full penalties under law and grant full rebates to the customers it deceived into buying pollution-spewing cars that led to massive, undeserved profits,\u0022 declared Ed Mierzwinski, consumer program director of U.S. PIRG, in a statement issued Wednesday.In announcing his resignation, Winterkorn acknowledged the scandal, which is now known to have affected 11 million cars worldwide, but declared \u0022I am not aware of any wrong doing on my part.\u0022 According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the company built a software \u0022defeat device\u0022 that allowed cars to cheat on emissions control tests and spew up to 40 times the level of pollutants legally permitted.\u0022Not only did the company deliberately deceive consumers, but Volkswagen consciously poisoned the air with gases that cause respiratory illness and exacerbate climate change,\u0022 said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, in a press statement Tuesday.Now it is time for the corporation to pay for its crimes, say consumer advocates, and they are launching a campaign to make this happen.\u0022When they were caught, they denied it as long as they could but now VW admits it broke the law when it engaged in a scheme to trick pollution controls and ripped off hundreds of thousands of consumers who thought they were buying clean vehicles,\u0022 argued Mierzwinski. \u0022Our Make VW Pay Campaign will hold VW fully accountable while preventing future corporate lawbreaking that cheats consumers or places health, safety, wallets or the environment at risk.\u0022\u0022Volkswagen consciously poisoned the air with gases that cause respiratory illness and exacerbate climate change.\u0022—Robert Weissman, Public Citizen U.S. PIRG says the company must buy back all of the flawed cars with full rebates. Going beyond that, the organization is calling on the EPA impose \u0022tough penalties\u0022 of up to $37,500 per vehicle.In addition, U.S. PIRG wants Congress to do away with a legal loophole that helps executives dodge prosecution for putting the public in danger. And they want the Department of Justice to \u0022stop allowing tax write-offs for wrongdoing.\u0022\u0022We’ve fought against tax write-offs for JP Morgan, BP and other companies when they were forced to pay penalties for violations of our laws,\u0022 said U.S. PIRG. \u0022We\u0026#039;ll keep fighting to end these write-offs for VW, GM and other companies.\u0022The demands come amid warnings that the VW scandal, which has caused the company\u0026#039;s stocks to tank, could extend far beyond this one corporation.Just last week, the Department of Justice let General Motors settle for just $900 million for faulty ignition switches responsible for the deaths of more than 100 people. Critics lambasted the deal as permissive of corporate wrongdoing.