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Volkswagen Appoints New CEO

Newly appointed Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller in Wolfsburg, Germany, Sept. 25, 2015,
Newly appointed Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller in Wolfsburg, Germany, Sept. 25, 2015,

Volkswagen appointed Matthias Mueller as its new chief executive officer, to help the German automaker recover from a scandal over its rigging of U.S. vehicle emissions tests.

The 62-year-old Mueller, who has headed Volkswagen subsidiary Porsche, pledged to help the automaker get through the biggest business crisis in its 78-year history.

"I assume this responsibility with confidence and will do everything personally to regain the trust of our customers, our employers and partners and investors and the whole public. We stand by our responsibility," said Mueller.

Mueller said the company would introduce "even tougher compliance rules" and added that his goal is to make Volkswagen "an even stronger company."

“The safety of our vehicles has never been compromised, the safety of our customers. This is very close to my heart and [I want] to get this across. It is decisive that such a thing may never happen again at Volkswagen which is why in the group we will enforce even more strict compliance and governance standards. This is my commitment. This is what I stand for. Our top target, my top target is that the people continue to trust our great vehicles and drive them with pleasure," he said.

Matthias Mueller replaced Martin Winterkorn who had been CEO since 2007 and quit the job this week over the scandal.

Volkwagen admitted Tuesday that some 11 million of the German carmaker's diesel vehicles worldwide contained software that switched pollution controls on during emissions tests, but shut them off during normal driving. The cars spewed 40 percent more emissions into the air without the controls.

The "irregularities" that were found by U.S. inspectors in Volkswagen's diesel engines, have damaged the company's reputation and threatens its business.

In the United States, several lawsuits have already been filed against the automaker. U.S. environmental regulators say Volkswagen faces fines up to $18 billion.

The deficient models include the VW Jetta, Beetle and Golf from 2009 through 2015, the Passat from 2014-2015, and the Audi A3 from 2009 to 2015.