matthias muller
Matthias Mueller, CEO of German car maker Porsche AG to steer VW through troubled waters? THOMAS KIENZLE/AFP/Getty Images

Volkswagen, which is currently mired in a global scandal over its emissions testing fraud for diesel cars, is expected to appoint Porsche head Matthias Muller as its new chief executive to replace Martin Winterkorn who resigned on Wednesday (23 September).

German news reports and Reuters said the German carmaker's supervisory board will be meeting on Friday to name Muller as the interim CEO to steer the company through its biggest business crisis in its 78-year old history.

Car and Driver website said that Muller enjoys an "excellent reputation within the VW Group." It said that Muller is "almost certain to be an interim CEO" as recently he had said that he was too old to take on the CEO post.

Muller is expected to spend some time to groom potential successors, the website said. It said The Research and Development heads of VW, Audi and Porsche, Heinz-Jakob Neusser, Ulrich Hackenberg and Wolfgang Hatz are expected to be let go. It also said that VW's US boss, Michael Horn is also expected to be on the chopping block.

Reuters said that the new VW CEO will have to "restore the confidence of customers and motor dealers, who have expressed frustration at a lack of information about how they will be affected by the scandal."

The news agency said that Muller is seen as the likely successor as he is popular with the families that control VW.

Crisis worsens

The crisis has worsened with officials in both Europe and the US stepping up their probe into the scandal. Germany's Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt told reporters: "We have been informed that also in Europe, vehicles with 1.6 and 2.0 litre diesel engines are affected by the manipulations that are being talked about."

He said that Europe would agree on new emissions tests in coming months that should take place on roads, rather than in laboratories and warned that random checks would be made on all manufacturers.

And in the US, a group of at least 27 US state attorneys general have launched investigations on VW's representations to consumers about its diesel vehicles.

Mary Nicols, the head of the California Air Resources said: "Right now we are organising ourselves for major enforcement action." The state plans to order a recall of VW diesel vehicles sold in the state with the software that enabled the vehicles to pass the agency's emissions test but then revert to higher pollution emissions when driven on the road.