Diesel scandal costs Volkswagen over 31 billion USD so far
"All in all, Volkswagen had to take into account a burden of approximately 28 billion euros within the framework of the diesel issue," said Werner who has been responsible for legal affairs and integrity at Volkswagen's board of management since February 2017.
According to Werner, legal costs for consulting and legal proceedings in the context of the "dieselgate" issue alone are now amounting to a "high three-digit-million-euro figure".
VW does not share an exact number of how many of its employees have been sacked or suspended because of the "dieselgate" scandal. "A number of people do not provide any information on the progress of internal or external investigative work," Werner told Handelsblatt.
In September 2015, VW had to admit that it had manipulated diesel engines which has since led to mandatory recalls of 2.5 million cars.
Volkswagen has been firmly arguing that there was no legal basis for customer complaints. "In our opinion, the customers have suffered neither losses nor damages. The vehicles are safe and ready to drive," Werner said.
Three months after first filing, a consumer complaint in the exhaust gas scandal against the Wolfsburg-based company, more than 400,000 customers have joined the law suit against VW, which the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (vzbv) is handling on behalf of the consumers.
Volkswagen argues that court-appointed experts and independent service providers would have confirmed that the price history of VW diesels had been stable since then. Werner admitted, however, that there was "fundamental uncertainty about the development of residual values for all vehicles with diesel engines, including the discussion about driving bans in German cities."
Driving bans for older diesel vehicles are currently impending in several German cities due to high air pollution levels. Affected cities are, among others, Frankfurt, Bonn and Essen, where for the first time a section of a German highway could be subject to such a ban. In Hamburg, a driving ban for diesel vehicles has been in force since May. ■