Volkswagen (VW) CEO Matthias Mueller told a gathering of company workers that the diesel emissions scandal will inflict “substantial and painful” financial damage on the German automaker, reports Automotive News.
The full extent of the damage will likely take years to play out, and prosecutors in Germany have widened the probe into VW from six employees to 17. Recently leaked memos suggest that upper-echelon management knew of the diesel defeat device at the heart of the scandal well before the investigation began, and VW board member Stephan Weil warned workers that there is likely more bad news yet to come.
Although VW has set aside $7.39 billion to deal with the emissions scandal, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has filed a $46 billion lawsuit against the automaker. The EPA is also rumored to be pressuring VW into making electric vehicles in the U.S. as a form of penance.
A federal judge has given the automaker until the end of March to come up with a fix for the approximately 600,000 U.S. vehicles affected by the defeat device.