VW could face further fines from German authorities
BRAUNSCHWEIG: Volkswagen could face additional fines in Munich and Stuttgart on top of the 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) it has been told to pay for management lapses which caused emissions cheating on 11 million VW diesel cars.
Prosecutors in the German town of Braunschweig used a socalled administrative order to fine Volkswagen for oversight problems which allowed millions of polluting VW cars to hit the road.
The fine is one of the biggest ever penalties imposed by German authorities against a company.
It deals yet another blow to one of Germany’s big industries which is struggling to recover from the fallout from the emissions cheating scandal that broke in Sept. 2015.
The 1 billion euro fine is not included in the 25.8 billion euros ($30 billion) that Europe’s biggest carmaker has set aside to cover costs related to its admission that it cheated US diesel emissions tests, and it will hit earnings, analysts at Evercore ISI said.
But shareholders should welcome the move since it marks an end to some of the criminal proceedings against the carmaker, they added.
However, that is not the end of VW’S legal problems.
Prosecutors in the southern city of Munich said they too are examining whether to impose similar fines on VW’S premium division Audi, for its role manipulating 6 and 8 cylinder diesel engines.
That would be in addition to Braunschweig’s fine which sanctioned violations tied to 4-cylinder diesel engines.
Stuttgart prosecutors, who have launched a probe against employees at Daimler, Porsche, which is another part of the Volkswagwn group, and auto supplier Bosch said they too may consider the use of an administrative order.
“In all these proceedings it is possible that a regulatory offence procedure will be carried out, we are still evaluating this possibility,” a spokesman for the Stuttgart prosecutor’s office said on Thursday.
Prosecutors in Braunschweig are also investigating Volkswagen executives including chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch and chief executive Herbert Diess to see if they informed investors in a timely fashion about the scale of potential fines faced by the carmaker for cheating US emissions tests.