VW CEO: Diesel Scandal’s Financial Cost Will Exceed Initial $7.2-Billion Fund

2015 Volkswagen Passat TDI

It appears that Volkswagen will have to pay more than the $7.2 billion it had allotted to fix its cars and disarm lawyers over its diesel-emissions scandal, but by how much is anyone’s guess.

Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller recently said the company’s initial cash fund only applied to expected recall costs, although whether Müller is including government fines or only totaling estimated repair costs is also unclear. “I can only speculate about any further provisions,” he told Reuters. “Should there be a change in sales volumes, we would react rapidly.”

Earlier this month, Swiss investment bank Credit Suisse said Volkswagen would need to pay out $86 billion to clear its name, or 60 percent more than what BP paid in fines and clean-up costs for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill off the Gulf of Mexico. The lawsuits are mounting. According to Bloomberg, Volkswagen faces more than 350 lawsuits in the U.S., and there are efforts underway to group them into a multi-district litigation that would try all of them at once in one court. VW no doubt hopes that happens as far away from California and that state’s aggressive Air Resources Board, which helped pursue the initial investigation, as it can possibly get. A panel of federal judges will meet on December 3 to decide which court will handle the VW cases.

The Environmental Protection Agency has not indicated how much it would fine VW, which could be up to $37,500 for each of the 482,000 cars currently subject to repair. A formal recall has not been issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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