Volkswagen will launch a recall for cars affected by its diesel emissions crisis in January and complete the fix by the end of next year, Reuters quoted chief executive Matthias Mueller as saying.
Mueller told the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) that he believed only a few employees were involved in the diesel emissions rigging that has hammered the company’s stock and done severe damage to its reputation.
The newspaper provided a copy of the interview prior to publication on Wednesday.
He dismissed the notion that his predecessor Martin Winterkorn must have known about the rigging.
“If all goes according to plan, we can start the recall in January. All the cars should be fixed by the end of 2016,” Mueller said.
The carmaker would have to become smaller and less centralized, Mueller said, adding that every model and brand would be scrutinized for its contribution to the company and singling out Bugatti.
But he said an “evolution” rather than a “revolution” was needed to get VW back on track, predicting that the company could “shine again” in two to three years.
“This crisis gives us an opportunity to overhaul Volkswagen’s structures,” Mueller said. “We want to make the company slimmer, more decentralized and give the brands more responsibility.
Mueller rejected the suggestion that VW had informed financial markets too late about the diesel problems despite having told officials at the US Environmental Protection Agency weeks before it went public.
“Based on our understanding of the law, we informed in time,” he said.
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