BERLIN (AP) — Volkswagen's board has named Matthias Mueller, the head of the group's Porsche unit, to be the new CEO and to lead the world's top-selling automaker past a growing emissions-rigging scandal.
Friday's appointment by the supervisory board meeting comes after the previous CEO, Martin Winterkorn, quit the job this week over the scandal, which has damaged the company's reputation and threatens its business.
Volkswagen has admitted to cheating on diesel car emissions test in the U.S. by using a software on 482,000 cars. It has said some 11 million cars worldwide have the software. The company now faces a mountain of difficulties, from class action lawsuits to fixing the software itself.
Former CEO Martin Winterkorn:
Martin Winterkorn, former Volkswagen CEO
VW names head of Porsche unit as new CEO
WOLFSBURG, GERMANY - MARCH 13, 2014: In this file photo Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn attends the company's annual press conference on March 13, 2014 in Wolfsburg, Germany. Winterkorn announced on September 22, 2015 that he will not step down following the diesel emissions scandal that Volkswagen has admitted could affect up to 11 million VW cars. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
WOLFSBURG, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 23: Rain clouds are seen over a Volkswagen symbol at the main entrance gate at Volkswagen production plant on September 23, 2015 in Wolfsburg, Germany. Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn and other members of the supervisory board are believed to be meeting inside the headquarters to discuss the Volkswagen Diesel emission scandal, which affects 11 million vehicles worldwide. (Photo by Alexander Koerner/Getty Images)
SONNEFELD, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 23: The dual exhaust pipes on a Volkswagen turbodiesel passenger car are visible below the vehicle on September 23, 2015 in Sonnefeld, Germany. The inner circle of the Volkswagen governing board is meeting today to discuss the current diesel emissions scandal that has already caused the company's stock market value to plummet approximately 30% since Monday. Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn has admitted the company installed software into 11 million of its diesel-powered passenger cars that manipulates emissions results under testing circumstances. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) first announced the discovery of the software and is planning to fine Volkswagen up to USD 18 billion.(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
CEO of Volkswagen AG Martin Winterkorn (R) and CEO of Porsche AG Matthias Mueller (C) are seen speaking with German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) at the 66th IAA auto show in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany, on September 17, 2015. Angela Merkel called for 'full transparency' from VW in the company's cheating scandal. German auto giant Volkswagen revealed on September 22, 2015 that 11 million diesel cars worldwide are equipped with devices that can cheat pollution tests, a dramatic expansion of a scandal that immediately sent its shares plummeting by another 20 percent. AFP PHOTO / ODD ANDERSEN (Photo credit should read ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - MAY 30: Chairman of the board of directors of Volkswagen Martin Winterkorn lifts the trophy next to Klaus Mohrs (R), mayor of the city Wolfsburg, during the VfL Wolfsburg Champions party after winning the German DFB Cup Final at Spindler & Klatt on May 30, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)
CEO of German car maker Volkswagen (VW), Martin Winterkorn, attends the shareholders' annual general meeting of VW AG in Hanover, central Germany, on May 5, 2015. German auto giant Volkswagen held its first ordinary shareholders' annual general meeting since a bitter power struggle at the top of the company led to the resignation of VW patriarch Ferdinand Piech as supervisory board head. AFP PHOTO / JOHN MACDOUGALL (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)
Martin Winterkorn, chief executive officer of Volkswagen AG (VW), pauses during the re-opening of a VW showroom in Berlin, Germany, on Tuesday, April 28, 2015. Volkswagen said 11 million vehicles were equipped with diesel engines at the center of a widening scandal over faked pollution controls that will cost the company at least 6.5 billion euros ($7.3 billion). Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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Mueller, 62, on Friday pledged to do everything to win back the trust of the public.
"We stand by our responsibility," said, adding, however, that "carefulness is even more important than speed."
Mueller said the company would introduce "even tougher compliance rules" and pledged to make VW "an even stronger company."
Winterkorn, who had been CEO since 2007, said he took responsibility for the "irregularities" found by U.S. inspectors in VW's diesel engines, but insisted he had personally done nothing wrong.