Alongside Mueller’s appointment, the supervisory board also approved changes to the management structure – aimed, the company said, at scaling back complexity and strengthening brands and regions.
According to the statement, Mueller who is also a member of Board of Management of Volkswagen AG will act as the CEO VW Group until the end of February 2020.
He had been tipped to replace Winterkorn during the latter’s bitter feud with his one-time mentor and former supervisory board chief Ferdinand Piech earlier this year. The company said in a statement on Friday that around 5 million Volkswagen diesel-engine vehicles worldwide have been fitted with rigged software allowing them to downplay their true emissions results.
The EU could introduce tougher vehicle emissions tests in the wake of the Volkswagen rigging scandal, senior European officials said.
Customers and motor dealers are furious because they say Volkswagen has yet to specify which vehicles models and years of manufacture are affected, and whether cars are going to be recalled for refits.
“My most pressing task will be to restore confidence in the Volkswagen Group – through an unsparing investigation and maximum transparency, but also by drawing the right lessons from the current situation”, Mueller vowed.
VW has admitted to installing so-called defeat devices on Volkswagen and Audi cars with four-cylinder diesel engines.
“I want to be very clear, the manipulation of tests for diesel engines is a moral and political disaster”, Huber said.
“It is crucial that something like this never happens again”, Mueller said at the press conference in Wolfsburg.
Authorities will continue working with Volkswagen to determine what cars exactly are involved.
“We will overcome this crisis”, he said Friday, adding that the carmaker could “emerge stronger from the crisis in the long term” if it learned from its mistakes.
The motor transport authority is conducting static and road tests on Volkswagen models and spot tests on cars made by other manufacturers, German and foreign. Volkswagen has since fessed up that the issue affects 11 million vehicles worldwide.
The US Environmental Protection Agency found that the affected VW and Audi cars emit 10 times to 40 times the legal limit of harmful nitrogen emissions during normal driving.
Germany, Italy and France are among the countries known to be investigating, and the commission says their probes would include carmakers beyond VW.
Volkswagen now faces a massive fine in the U.S., estimated to reach 18 billion dollars.