Volkswagen’s board has named Matthias Mueller, the head of the group’s Porsche unit, to be the new CEO and to lead the world’s top-selling automaker past a growing emissions-rigging scandal.
Winterkorn denied wrongdoing at Volkswagen but accepted responsibility for the scandal involving millions of its diesel vehicles, which were outfitted with software created to cheat emissions inspections.
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.
His new assignment takes effect immediately – however, he will remain in his post at Porsche until his replacement is found.
The sources said it would give initial findings from an internal investigation into who was responsible for programming a few diesel cars to detect when they were being tested and alter the running of the engines to hide their true emissions.
The software at the centre of Volkswagen’s emissions scandal in the USA was built into the automaker’s cars in Europe as well, Germany said Thursday, though it isn’t yet clear if it helped cheat tests as it did in the U.S.
Transport minister Alexander Dobrindt says the company has told officials that the vehicles in question included cars with 1.6-liter and 2-liter diesel engines in Europe.
Volkswagen subsidiaries Audi, Skoda and Seat have confirmed they are examining whether their models’ engines, the same as those in the affected Volkswagen cars, were controlled by the same software. Volkswagen has since fessed up that the issue affects 11 million vehicles worldwide.
“Today we’re putting vehicle manufacturers on notice that our testing is now going to include additional valuation and tests created to look for potential defeat devices”, Grundler said, speaking to reporters.
Volkswagen is facing the biggest test of its 78-year history, with both criminal fines and massive lawsuits on the horizon.
On Wednesday, Winterkorn said he was resigning “in the interests of the company”, despite not being aware of any wrongdoing on his own part.
“I am convinced that the Volkswagen Group and its team will overcome this grave crisis”.