Volkswagen CEO says recall related to diesel emissions crisis to start in January

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, chief executive Matthias Mueller says.

"If all goes according to plan, we can start the recall in January," Mr Mueller told German newspaper the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ).

"All the cars should be fixed by the end of 2016."

Mr Mueller told the FAZ he believed only a few employees were involved in the diesel emissions rigging that has hammered the company's share value and done severe damage to its reputation, refuting the notion his detail-oriented predecessor Martin Winterkorn must have known about it.

He said Volkswagen would have to become smaller and less centralised, adding that every model and brand would be scrutinised for its contribution to the company.

But he said an "evolution" rather than a "revolution" was needed to get VW back on track, predicting the company could "shine again" in two to three years.

"This crisis gives us an opportunity to overhaul Volkswagen's structures," Mr Mueller said.

"We want to make the company slimmer, more decentralised and give the brands more responsibility."

Mr Mueller rejected the suggestion Volkswagen 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.

Source: Reuters

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