Christofer Lloyd's blog - 2 October: VW needs to get its act together
02 October 2015
Author: Daniel Puddicombe
With 11 million vehicles potentially featuring 'defeat devices', Volkswagen is facing fines running into the billions, plus recall costs and compensation bills.
Despite putting aside nearly £5bn to deal with the aftermath of this scandal, this could be a drop in the ocean compared with the costs that could arise if fines near to the $37,500 (£24,700) per vehicle figure mooted in the US Environmental Protections Agency's Notice of Violation, issued to VW Group of America on 18 September, were to be replicated on an international scale.
How the drama plays out, though, comes down to VW's response once all the facts are known. While the company has been sporadically releasing small details - promoting widespread misreporting that confuses artificially cutting NOx emissions in official test conditions with promoting inflated economy figures to consumers - if it takes control of the media and releases clear, detailed information on exactly how this situation arose, what the company will do to address affected cars, and how it will prevent anything similar from happening again, it could win many back favour with fleets and consumers alike, a view echoed by Cap's senior forecasting editor Dylan Setterfield.
With more than a third slashed from VW's stock market value, however, the impact will be felt on the whole group for many years.