BERLIN/FRANKFURT (Reuters) -- Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn today apologized again for the carmaker's cheating of diesel emission rules in the United States and pledged full cooperation with authorities involved.
"I am endlessly sorry that we betrayed the trust" of millions of people, Winterkorn said in a video statement posted on VW's website.
"Swift and comprehensive clarification has now utmost priority," the CEO said. "To make it very clear: manipulation at VW must never happen again."
Meanwhile, Volkswagen earlier today denied a report that Winterkorn was to be replaced by Matthias Mueller, the head of the automaker's Porsche sports car business.
A VW spokesman described the report as "ridiculous." A Porsche spokesman said Mueller was today at a VW management board meeting at its headquarters in Wolfsburg.
The Tagesspiegel newspaper today said in a report that Mueller, 59, will replace Winterkorn after the automaker admitted to cheating U.S. vehicles emissions tests. Winterkorn, 68, no longer has the board's trust, the paper said, citing unidentified sources.
Germany’s Hannoverschen Allgemeinen Zeitung also reported today the executive’s dismissal is imminent, citing unidentified members of the supervisory board. The newspaper had reported that senior board members and members of top VW management were already meeting. Citing board sources, the paper said Winterkorn had lost the support of major shareholders.
However, sources close to the VW supervisory board told Reuters the executive committee only planned to meet on Wednesday to discuss the emissions test scandal and the agenda of a full board meeting long scheduled for Friday.
Winterkorn did not mention his future in a video message posted on the company's website.
VW today said that 11 million of its cars could be affected worldwide by the emissions irregularities. Volkswagen sold 10.1 million cars in 2014.
The steering committee of VW Group's supervisory board was due to meet on Wednesday to discuss the crisis. The group wants a "comprehensive and fast" explanation from Winterkorn of the cheating on emissions tests, Handelsblatt reported, citing Bernd Osterloh, a labor representative on the committee.
The six-member inner circle is down to five members following the departure in April of Chairman Ferdinand Piech and prior to the formal election of his designated successor, Chief Financial Officer Hans Dieter Poetsch. The full board is due to meet on Friday -- a date scheduled before the scandal erupted last week -- to extend Winterkorn's contract until end-2018.