Matthias Müller

In Volkswagen's Hot Seat

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He'd rather not take questions at this time.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Matthias Müller must inspire the confidence of the supervisory board if he wants to keep his post as chief executive.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • CEO Matthias Müller stirred controversy when he told a reporter in Detroit that Volkswagen “didn’t lie” to U.S. regulators about emissions.
    • The Environmental Protection Agency rejected Mr. Müller’s proposed diesel recall.
    • Mr. Müller will face questions from VW’s supervisory board on Tuesday.
  • Audio

    Audio

  • Pdf

It’s time for Matthias Müller to face the music. When Volkswagen’s supervisory board meets on Tuesday, the chief executive will face a grilling over his recent trip to the United States, which turned into a public relations fiasco.

Mr. Müller’s trip was supposed to be the turning point where Volkswagen finally brought the emissions scandal under control. Instead, the chief executive botched an interview with U.S. broadcaster National Public Radio and was rebuffed by the Environmental Protection Agency.

“In contrast to how it was billed, the trip to the United States was a step backward,” a source close to the board told Handelsblatt on the condition of anonymity.

Though the board members are critical of Mr. Müller’s public performance during the trip, they still stand behind him fully, according to Handelsblatt’s sources.

The fiasco began at a restaurant named Fishbone’s, where Volkswagen was throwing a party on the eve of the Detroit Auto Show, as the automaker has in years past. But this year, because of the emissions scandal, Mr. Müller was quickly surrounded by cameras, microphones and journalists asking questions.

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