The Volkswagen Group officially has a new CEO – Matthias Müller who is currently the chairman of Porsche AG. Muller will continue to serve as Porsche chairman until a successor can be found.

This follows the resignation of Martin Winterkorn earlier this week over the current ‘dieselgate’ scandal where it was uncovered that certain Volkswagen diesel cars were found to have so-called “defeat devices” that help them cheat stringent US air pollution tests.

62-year old Muller started off as an apprentice toolmaker with Audi. He then had a few stints at SEAT, Lamborghini, Volkswagen and Porsche. He has a master’s degree in computer science from Munich University of Applied Sciences.

“My most urgent task is to win back trust for the Volkswagen Group – by leaving no stone unturned and with maximum transparency, as well as drawing the right conclusions from the current situation. Under my leadership, Volkswagen will do everything it can to develop and implement the most stringent compliance and governance standards in our industry. If we manage to achieve that then the Volkswagen Group with its innovative strength, its strong brands and above all its competent and highly motivated team has the opportunity to emerge from this crisis stronger than before,” said Müller in the press release issued by the group on his appointment.

Volkswagen also revealed that internal evaluation shows that the current ‘dieselgate’ scandal affects approximately five million Volkswagen passenger car brand vehicles worldwide. This includes the Mk6 Golf, the Mk7 Passat and the Mk1 Tiguan equipped with EA189 diesel engines. Volkswagen says current EU6-compliant cars such as the Mk7 Golf, Mk7 Passat are not affected. The Volkswagen Touareg TDI which is the sole diesel Volkswagen car offered in Malaysia should not be affected either.

Dr. Herbert Diess, CEO of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand stressed: “We are working at full speed on a technical solution that we will present to partners, to our customers and to the public as swiftly as possible. Our aim is to inform our customers as quickly as possible, so that their vehicles comply fully with regulations. I assure you that Volkswagen will do everything humanly possible to win back the trust of our customers, the dealerships and the public.”

The group is facing possible fines of up to US$18 billion (RM79 billion) as well a criminal investigation by the US Justice Department, and has already seen its share prices plunge 23% on Monday, wiping out at least €15.6 billion (RM74.8 billion) of its market value.

Want to know more about how VW allegedly managed to keep this quiet for so long, and how it finally got caught in the act? Read our in-depth story here.