Different names and faces now occupy key posts, but corporate governance remains as poor as ever. A month after Mueller concluded his own audit of the scandal, for example, he brazenly denied that VW had lied to the EPA.
"We didn't understand the question," he told NPR in January, before an outcry forced him to revise his comments.
A pledge to publish the initial findings of the Jones Day independent probe by the end of April was broken, and the excuse -- that it might endanger ongoing investigations -- appeared flimsy even to people close to the company. Minority shareholders were urged to endorse the management and supervisory boards at the June 22 annual meeting. Insiders assured them that the Jones Day report would absolve board members of any guilt, a call that backfired when Winterkorn and VW brand chief Herbert Diess became the targets of a German criminal investigation just before the meeting.
All of this -- and there's more -- is evidence of a corrosive culture, one in which corners are cut, mistakes are covered up and blame is shifted.
Mueller has tried to address this by introducing in Wolfsburg the same cross-functional management that he found at Porsche. And any top-down cultural change in an organization as large as GM and Toyota combined will take time.
But the past year hasn't been reassuring. It shows a tone-deaf management still ensconced in the bubble that is Wolfsburg.
Last week VW's finance chief Frank Witter told Bloomberg Television: "You don't regain trust just by making statements -- it's what you deliver, it's what you do, and people watch for the results and the behavior."
Agreed. But one year later the world is still watching -- and waiting.