VW chief to meet with top US environmental regulator

Washington :Volkswagen chief executive Matthias Mueller will meet next week in Washington with the head of the environmental agency that uncovered the massive emissions-cheating scandal, an agency spokeswoman said today.

Mueller will see Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy on January 13 at the request of VW, an EPA spokeswoman said. The meeting will follow an appearance by Mueller at the Detroit auto show Sunday night, his first trip to the United States since the scandal broke in September.

On Monday, the US Justice Department, on behalf of EPA, filed a lawsuit against VW for installing equipment on nearly 600,000 diesel cars that intentionally subverted clean-air regulations, resulting in excess harmful emissions.

The lawsuit could result in a fine of $20 billion or more on VW. EPA said it also aimed to pressure VW to accelerate efforts to recall defective vehicles.

VW has conceded that the emissions cheating technology was employed on some 11 million diesel engines worldwide, in vehicles of the model years 2009 through 2015.

Mueller and other VW officials have apologized for the scandal, which led to the resignation of Mueller’s predecessor, Martin Winterkorn.