Photo courtesy of Volkswagen.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen.

Volkswagen AG will launch a recall in January of its diesel-powered cars that included cheat software designed to defeat emissions testing in a scandal that's expected to have a wide-ranging impact on one of the largest global automakers.

In most cases, the automaker can fix the problem with a software update, and may need to add fuel injectors or catalytic convertors. CEO Matthias Muller told German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung the company will strive to implement a fix that doesn't reduce fuel economy or performance, reports the New York Times.

Volkswagen is facing significant costs for the work, fines from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and lawsuits from owners and dealers. Volkswagen is now seeking approval from the German government on its plan.

During an Oct. 6 address to 20,000 employees at VW's Wolfsburg plant, Muller said the company would "overcome this crisis" despite a crisis of confidence that will cause "enormous financial damage."

About 480,000 Volkswagen vehicles and 15,000 Audi vehicles were sold in the U.S. market with the software cheat.

On Oct. 7, Volkswagen AG appointed Dieter Potsch as its chairman and Frank Witter to succees Potsch as a member of the Board of Management over finance and controlling. The automaker has hired the law firm Jonas Day to conduct an external investigation into the matter.