Despite our inability to get to all of these stories, there have been some big ones lately regarding the ongoing diesel scandal. Have a look:
$10 billion is well below the theoretical maximum penalty VW could face. The cost of civil violations under US law could be four times as much. Brandon Barnes, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, estimates the cost of buying back all of the vehicles in the U.S. at $9.4 billion. The company’s total cost could reach about 30 billion Euros, according to an estimate from Evercore ISI.
When the whole Volkswagen diesel cheating scandal started, the company made all the right noises. It promised a full and fair investigation. It promised to hold those responsible accountable. It promised its full cooperation with any and all government officials. It promised it would do the right thing and fix the mess it created.
At the behest of Volkswagen chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch, the company hired US law firm Jones Day and auditing firm Deloitte to conduct a thorough investigation. Some 450 people are involved in the effort to find out who knew what and when. They have been diligently sifting through more than one hundred terabytes of data provided by the company but say they still have dozens of witnesses they need to interview. They are hunting for what is called “a small group of engineers” believed to be responsible for the computer code that told the cars to report erroneous emissions data during testing.
A number of recent articles describing the recent meeting between the US President Barrack Obama and the VW Group CEO Matthias Müller have featured rather colorful language.
The New York Times article on the subject even went as far as to say the VW Group CEO personally apologized for the matter to the US President and “plead for mercy.” (The article seems to have had the wording changed after the fact, though. Perhaps someone with clout was offended?)
The diesel emissions cheating club is getting larger all the time. It started with Volkswagen last September, but the list of companies who decided to play fast and loose with government regulations is getting longer every day. Now we can add Fiat to that list.