FRANKFURT -- Volkswagen Group said it has appointed a compliance commissioner from its Porsche business as the automaker faces increasing pressure from regulators in the U.S. and Europe over its emissions scandal.
VW said Michael Steiner, Porsche's head of vehicle development and quality, has been given the new role and his tasks will include conducting talks with regulatory and compliance authorities globally.
Steiner took up the role on Nov. 16 but VW only announced the appointment on Wednesday on its U.S. website as a key deadline looms in the U.S.
VW faces a Friday deadline to present a plan to California regulators to fix 4-cylinder diesel engines that emit as much as 40 times the allowed amount of harmful nitrogen oxide. A similar meeting in Germany is slated for Monday, sources told Bloomberg.
VW is battling fines and compliance issues globally on two fronts: first for cheating NOx emission tests and secondly for falsifying CO2 emissions and fuel economy data.
The automaker could be fined up to $18 billion in the U.S. after it admitted installing "defeat" software to fool official tests for NOx. The company has said the cheat software may be in up to 11 million cars sold worldwide by its VW, Audi, Skoda, Seat and VW light commercial brands, prompting official inquiries in countries from Greece to Australia.
German prosecutors opened a criminal investigation into VW over the emissions deception and police and prosecutors raided VW facilities and private homes last month to gather evidence.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has voiced frustration at VW's slow reaction to the scandal. However, VW has said it is cooperating with the CARB and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in hopes of earning leniency when the regulators eventually decide on a punishment.
VW said Steiner, 51, will report to CEO Matthias Mueller. Steiner joined Porsche as head of innovation and concepts in 2002 from Daimler. He played a key role in the development of the Porsche Panamera sedan, VW said. He was promoted to Porsche's vehicle development and quality chief in 2011.