Investigators find Muller had no previous knowledge of the cheats

Here’s the thing about enormous, multi-national corporations – the right hand doesn’t always know what the left hand is up to. In this particular circumstance, it appears as though that insular characteristic has worked to the favor of Volkswagen’s new CEO, Mattias Muller, as it was recently revealed that Muller had no knowledge of the scandalous emissions trickery VW was perpetrating prior to the big public revelation last year.

That’s the news from Reuters, which cites a recent article from the German publication Bild am Sonntag. Bild am Sonntag reports that following an investigation by the U.S. law firm Jones Day, it was determined that Muller was in the dark about the diesel emissions cheat until the news went public on September 18, 2015. At the time, Muller was CEO at Porsche, but a week after the Dieselgate story broke, he found himself promoted to Chief Executive at VW, replacing ex-CEO Martin Winterkorn.

The news arrives as a modest bright spot in a cascade of negative revelations and accusations leveled at the beleaguered automaker.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why It Matters

Another day, another development in Volkswagen’s ongoing Dieselgate scandal. Fortunately, it appears as though VW won’t have to slog through a new CEO change, as Muller supposedly played no part in the emissions cheat. But that certainly doesn’t mean the company is out of the woods yet.

Volkswagen is still struggling to come up with a workable solution to put all this behind it. One of the biggest issues is the sheer quantity of vehicles wrapped up in this scandal, which currently includes over half a million vehicles in the U.S., and roughly 8.5 million vehicles in Europe.

Over the summer, VW put together a $14.7 billion settlement to address most (but not all) of the U.S. problem cars, including buy back options, cash restitution, and equipment fixes. As of September, less than 10 percent of the affected European cars have been fixed.

Complicating matters is the huge PR battle that Muller and company must now wage. To help win over hearts and minds, VW has been pumping out the zero-emissions concepts lately, with the most recent being the I.D. concept that dropped at the 2016 Paris Motor Show.

VW says a production I.D. will be ready to sell at dealerships by 2020, and not a moment too soon, as Germany recently announced a non-binding resolution that would place an outright ban on production of new emissions-producing vehicles by 2030.

Read our full review of the 2016 Volkswagen I.D. Concept here.

Source: Reuters

Jonathan Lopez
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