VW’s executive board said yesterday it expected “further personnel consequences in the next days”, and that “all participants in these proceedings that has resulted in unmeasurable harm for Volkswagen, will be subject to the full consequences”.
Volkswagen announced on Friday that Matthias Müller, now the top executive at Porsche, will become the German vehicle company’s new CEO.
Müller will steps into his new position as Volkswagen Group CEO immediately and will also continue to operate as Chairman of Porsche AG until until a successor has been found.
The software at the centre of Volkswagen’s emissions scandal in the USA was built into its cars in Europe as well, though it is not yet clear if it helped cheat tests as it did in the U.S., Germany said. “His ascendency is backed by a history of successful leadership at Audi, Lamborghini and Porsche, making him the obvious choice to replace Winterkorn”, said Karl Brauer, senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com.
German transport minister Alexander Dobrindt said he had been told that 1.6 and 2.0 litre diesel engines are the ones “affected by the manipulations that are being talked about”. The software on a defeat device reduces the efficacy of a car’s emissions control system while it operates under normal conditions, but it allows the emissions control system to operate normally while the vehicle is being tested for emissions compliance.
The controversy arose when Volkswagen admitted it had used software code to cheat on U.S. tests for nitrogen oxide.
The Department of Justice has launched an investigation into the matter.
Volkswagen has been embroiled in scandal since the EPA revealed last Friday that the company programmed vehicles to trick emissions testers into believing that its diesel cars released much less nitrogen oxide than they actually do.
Martin Winterkorn said that although he was “not aware of any wrongdoing on my part”, he accepted responsibility for the scandal and said that the company needs “a fresh start”.