New Volkswagen chairman Poetsch pleads for time

  • 7 October 2015
  • From the section Business
Hans Dieter Poetsch Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch will be replaced as finance chief by Frank Witter

VW has appointed former finance chief Hans Dieter Poetsch as its new chairman, following a board meeting to discuss the emissions scandal.

Mr Poetsch said it would be "some time" before the carmaker could uncover the details of the emissions test cheating.

Earlier, Volkswagen said it expected to start a recall of cars affected by the scandal in January.

All affected cars will be fixed by the end of 2016, it told German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

Only a few employees have been involved in the scandal, chief executive Matthias Mueller added in the interview.

In his first pronouncement as chairman, Mr Poetsch said the company's internal inquiry into the scandal would take time.

"Nobody is served by speculation or vague, preliminary progress reports," he said.

"Therefore it will take some time until we have factual and reliable results and can provide you with comprehensive information," he added, before declining to take any questions.

Media captionHow do you test a car's emissions?

'Not painless'

Europe's biggest carmaker has said emissions test-cheating software is present in 11 million diesel vehicles.

The firm said it would also look into its various brands and models, singling out Bugatti, its supercar marque.

Earlier, Mr Mueller told employees at VW's Wolfsburg home plant in Germany the firm is facing changes that "will not be painless".

Media captionHow to check if your car is affected

All investments that were not deemed absolutely necessary would be abandoned or delayed, he said.

Technical solutions were "within view" and the firm would do everything it could to keep jobs secure, he added.

Future investment in plant, technology and vehicles would be put "under scrutiny".

"We will do everything to ensure that Volkswagen will stand for good and secure jobs in the future," he added.

It has set aside €6.5bn (£4.8bn) to cover the cost of the scandal, but analysts say the final bill could be much higher, with potential regulatory fines in the US, class action lawsuits and the cost of fixing the cars.

Audi, Skoda, Seat

The emissions scandal engulfed the German car giant after it admitted cheating emissions tests in the US.

In the UK, 1.2 million vehicles could be affected. Elsewhere in Europe, France and Italy have opened investigations into the rigging of the tests.

The company is suspending the sale of 4,000 vehicles in the UK, saying the vehicles may be equipped with the device that cheated emissions tests in the US.

The move will involve vehicles across the VW group including the VW, Audi, Skoda and Seat brands.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Bugatti will be among the carmaker's brands to be scrutinised

VW said it was a temporary measure and that it intended to return the vehicles for sale once a fix is identified for the cars.

Despite the scandal that began almost two weeks ago, VW customers could still buy vehicles that had the rogue software.

The cars taken off the market represent 3% of VW's stock in the UK.

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