"We have lost trust of our customers, investors and employees. As well as the trust from politicians and the public. The biggest challenge is to win back that trust," he said at a press conference on Thursday morning.
The audit confirmed that the diesel (NOx) emission inefficiencies were linked to the "misconduct and shortcomings of individual employees," the "weaknesses in some processes" and a "mindset in some areas of the company that tolerated breaches of rules." It did not name any individuals that were involved in the deception.
The investigations are set to continue into the new year but VW highlighted that certain operations and processes would be changed in light of the scandal. It said its IT systems were inadequate and would be updated. It said it was also concentrating on structuring processes more "transparently and systematically," adding that software for engine control devices would be developed more strictly in accordance with a "4-eyes principle," allowing better monitoring and improved decision making.
Chairman of the Board of Management, Matthias Mueller, said: "We are doing everything to overcome the current situation, but we will not allow the crisis to paralyze us. On the contrary, we will use it as a catalyst to make the changes Volkswagen needs."
Potsch added that the investigation was producing "valuable findings, which will help us create a structure that, rather than favoring breaches of regulations, will prevent them, or at least allow them to be detected early on."