Volkswagen Chairman Hans Dieter Pötsch and new CEO Matthias Müller spent two hours today talking about the company’s interim report into how it came to pass that VW designed more than 11 million cars to cheat emissions tests around the world. Chairman Pötsch said VW is expecting a lot of lawsuits.
“Representatives of our group have admitted that illegal devices are installed in our vehicles and that already paves the way for legal action,” he said.
Müller used words like “clarity” and “transparency” when talking about the results of the internal audit aimed at getting to the bottom of the scandal. David Margulies, a crisis communications consultant, doesn’t think VW’s leadership has gone far enough.
“The best way to deal with something where you’ve really made a mistake is to unequivocally say, we screwed up,” he said. “It tends to end the controversy.”
VW did say that all future admissions tests will be evaluated externally and independently. Executives also said they will be ready to answer more questions next month at the Detroit Auto Show.