Recall on VW diesels begins in January, Mueller claims

A recall on Volkswagen's diesel vehicles with cheating software has been inevitable since the scandal first came to light, but there has been little official word on a timeframe for the fix. The automaker's new CEO Matthias Müller has finally put a tentative date on repairs, though. "If all goes according to plan, we can start the recall in January. All the cars should be fixed by the end of 2016," Müller said to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Reuters reports.

While this plan affects Europe, the timing for repairs in the US could be slightly different. The Environmental Protection Agency needs to test the fix first here to make sure that it brings the vehicles in line with emissions regulations. Before the scandal came to light publicly, VW already tried a software update, but the California Air Resources Board still found NOx levels to be too high. Some experts have speculated that whatever the automaker comes up with this time could affect performance and fuel economy.

To make lemonade out of these very sour lemons, Müller is trying to position the scandal as a chance to change. "This crisis gives us an opportunity to overhaul Volkswagen's structures," the CEO said, according to Reuters. "We want to make the company slimmer, more decentralized and give the brands more responsibility."

Still, the effects are definitely being felt inside the automaker. When addressing employees recently, Müller admitted the necessity of cutbacks and the likelihood of setting aside even more money to pay for international fines and settlements. "What isn't absolutely vital will be canceled or delayed," he said.

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