Could Growing Volkswagen Scandal Engulf New CEO Mller?

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole
could growing volkswagen scandal engulf new ceo mller

Analysts have questioned whether newly hired Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller will effectively navigate the automaker through a deepening scandal as more vehicles and more cheating is uncovered, Automotive News reported.

Müller, who took over as Volkswagen AG CEO from the top spot at Porsche, has yet to instill confidence in investors, according to analysts.

“It’s a like a virus that’s spreading,” Dave Sullivan, an analyst with AutoPacific, told Automotive News. “With every new bit of information that’s uncovered, it digs the knife in a little deeper and produces more doubt and skepticism that they have an understanding of how deep this crisis is.”

Müller was tabbed to replace outgoing CEO Martin Winterkorn after it became clear that the automaker would lose billions of dollars in the diesel scandal. On Sept. 18, the Environmental Protection Agency notified the automaker that 482,000 of its cars in the U.S. were illegally polluting and that the automaker had installed a “cheat device” to cover up its emissions.

Winterkorn apologized for the “defeat device” without acknowledging that he knew anything about it prior to the EPA’s notification and resigned from Volkswagen.

Volkswagen’s supervisory board hired away Müller from his top spot at Porsche, in part, to help the automaker recover from its widening, deepening scandal.

Müller promised transparency throughout the process, but the automaker has been slow to specify how it would fix its 11 million cars and the German transportation authority has ordered the automaker to speed up its recall.

“As far as the U.S. justice officials, it’s going to be much more difficult for Mueller to credibly lead Volkswagen’s efforts to uncover the fraud behind the scandal,” Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, head of the Center for Automotive Research at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany, told Automotive News.

Since the scandal has initially developed, the EPA alleged this month that some Porsche models may have cheated emissions — something the automaker denied in September — and more Audi models have been added to the list.

Shortly after making the announcement Nov. 2, Volkswagen issued a statement denying its 3-liter diesel engines were cheating and the automaker would clarify with the EPA how those cars complied with emissions standards.

Müller was head of Porsche for six years before taking the top job at Volkswagen. If the allegations by the EPA are true, Müller could either have to acknowledge that he knew the Porsche cars were cheating or admit — similar to Winterkorn — that the company he ran for years operated without his direct supervision.

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  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Nov 09, 2015

    This is why I said they should have hired an outsider. And their choice only proves the protective nature of the VW machine.

  • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Nov 09, 2015

    VW made the similar mistake GM made. They both fixated on being the #1 volume company in the world. You produce crap when your focus is on volume. MacDonald's and WalMart come to mind and are also faltering and trying to create a better image.

    • See 8 previous
    • APaGttH APaGttH on Nov 10, 2015

      @Lou_BC They weren't willing to bailout Opel - but Opel is a bit player, and is about as German as Jaguar is British these days. It is an interesting question - is the second largest car maker in the world "too big too fail." A VAG failure pulls down Audi and Porsche with it -- I would think the EU would prop them up, the other alternative is millions of job losses (direct and indirect) in a region that can't afford any further unemployment.

  • ToolGuy CXXVIII comments?!?
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.
  • ToolGuy Is it a genuine Top Hand? Oh, I forgot, I don't care. 🙂