nsucurrent.com February 22, 2018

'Dieselgate' scandal will cost Volkswagen billions more

30 September 2017, 03:42 | Ruby West

Former VW engine chief arrested in diesel investigation, report says

Volkswagen's bill for emissions cheating keeps growing as a new charge in the US adds to the tab

Leading up to the September 24 national election in Germany, various high-ranking politicians have said German customers deserve the same kind of financial compensation that VW's US diesel customers have received, even though emissions standards and technologies are different on the two continents and even though, in independent emissions tests, many non-German cars have fared far worse than VW Group models. Under the agreement, the company either has to buy back the affected cars or modify them to bring them into compliance with U.S. environmental laws.

Shares in the company were down 1.27 percent on the news.

In 2016, VW agreed to buy back or fix almost 500,000 2.0-litre diesel cars in the United States that had been fitted with cheating software to make them seem less polluting than they were.

The diesel emissions cheating scandal will cost Volkswagen an extra $3bn (€2.5bn), because engines are proving "far more technically complex and time consuming" to adapt the company said.

Two years after the problems first emerged, Volkswagen is still struggling to put the crisis behind it. In addition to criminal probes in Germany, the company still faces hundreds of investor lawsuits as well as consumer complaints.

In late 2016, Volkswagen pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the US government over the diesel scandal and agreed to pay almost $25 billion in fines, penalties and compensation, after it settled a number of civil lawsuits. While VW has worked to fix these cars, it's rejected paying compensation to roughly 8 million European owners.

A report Friday from Volkswagen AG referred to the loss as "third quarter negative items" impacting the company's bottom line. Net liquidity was EUR23.7 billion at the end of June, down 17.5% from a year earlier. The world's largest automaker plans to invest about 20 billion euros by 2030 to develop a fleet of electric cars and another 50 billion to buy the batteries needed to power the vehicles. Audi, its luxury division, admitted two months later that about 83,000 vehicles with 3.0-litre V6 diesel engines were also fitted with an auxiliary control device deemed illegal in the US.

The move comes as the scandal set off a backlash that has led consumers to turn away from diesel technology amid concerns about pollution and driving bans. Volkswagen has said that it doesn't expect the costs of the program to affect earnings.

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