VW declined to comment.
Müller has worked at Volkswagen for more than 30 years. Previous year he raked in roughly $18.7 million.
The catch: Winterkorn would only be entitled to that severance if the board concludes he was terminated early through no fault of his own.
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.
His reported board-level support for the post suggests he could also be brought in as chief executive.
Winterkorn, who claimed to know nothing about the cheating, apologized twice and said he was stunned by the scale of the misconduct.
Since then, numerous jurisdictions in the US and overseas have said they are investigating the automaker.
“As CEO I accept responsibility for the irregularities that have been found in diesel engines and have therefore requested the supervisory board to agree on terminating my function as CEO”, he said.
As he announced Mueller’s appointment, Huber offered another apology for what he called “a moral and political disaster”.
In a potential setback to the company’s attempts to move on, German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt suggested tests had also been rigged in Europe.
Many high-ranking executives are expected to be sacked in the process.
A 20-person supervisory board met this afternoon to vote through Mr Mueller as the German carmaker’s new boss.
According to the U.S. authorities, VW has admitted that it equipped about 482,000 cars in the United States with sophisticated software that covertly turns off pollution controls when the auto is being driven.
The public trust was destroyed last week when an underfunded NGO proved that software in VW diesel cars were using a “defeat device” to cheat emissions tests in the US.
VW has seen its long established reputation as symbol of German engineering excellence tarnished by a scandal affecting 11 million vehicles worldwide that broke a week ago.
VW shares, which have bounced back over the past two days from unprecedented losses at the start of the week, hit an intraday high of 117 euros in the first few minutes of trading, an increase of 4.3 percent from the closing price the day before.
“We are sending a clear message that this is unacceptable”, Sasja Beslik, head of responsible investments at Stockholm-based Nordea, said. It said that it sticks to all laws and rules, and it isn’t aware of any measurements showing that its vehicles fail to keep to legal requirements.
A small group of employees has been suspended, the company said Friday, but it gave no further detail. Volkswagen will reconsider plans to introduce diesel models in Japan, according to spokesman Dorothea Gasztner.
Economic forecasters around the world warned this week that the damage could spread beyond Volkswagen. “But they have to address this issue”.
The decision to expand the plant to build the new vehicle was helped by a state and local incentives package that could be worth up to $300 million.
“We have to oppose and stand up to extremism”, he told Sueddeutsche Zeitung.
“VW officials assured me they are taking this matter seriously and explained how critical the [new vehicle] is to their North American market strategy”, Berke said in an email.