Volkswagen CEO to meet with high-level US officials next week

Volkswagen lawsuit

Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller is preparing to meet with high-ranking US officials next week.

Mueller personally requested the company’s highest level talks with US officials since the German automaker admitted to using software to evade emissions requirements in 580,000 US vehicles.

The meeting arrives a week after the US Justice Department filed a civil suit against VW that could deliver a ruling of up to $48 billion in damages under the Clean Air Act.

The EPA said this week that after months of talks “recall discussions with the company have not produced an acceptable way forward. EPA continues to insist that VW develops effective, appropriate remedies as expeditiously as possible.”

VW brand chief Herbert Diess said this week that he is “confident we will find an acceptable solution.”

A German newspaper on Thursday reported VW will have to buy back about 115,000 cars in the United States as a result of the emissions scandal.

Germany’s daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung said VW will either have to refund the purchase price of a fifth of the diesel vehicles affected or offer a new car at a significant discount.

VW has not commented on Zeitung’s claim.

The US market is only a fraction of VW’s headache. The company’s emissions cheating scandal could affect up to 11 million vehicles worldwide.

Mueller is making his first trip to the United States since taking over at VW, visiting the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

VW is now facing a criminal investigation in the United States and faces more than 500 U.S. lawsuits.