In Romania, Volkswagen is liable for damages of 30 million euros, according to recent estimates.
The inquiries into the Volkswagen scandal continue. The German carmarker faces steep fines for marketing diesel vehicles equipped with emissions test cheating software as well as lawsuits from the states where the cars were sold and the people who bought them. In Bucharest, the Romanian state puts the damage caused by the almost 100,000 Volkswagen cars found to possess emissions test cheating software at around 30 million euros. This figure is based on the fact that buyers paid the environmental tax for Euro 5 category cars instead of Euro 4. The Romanian minister for the environment Gratiela Gavrilescu said the difference in money would be covered by the carmaker through court order, not by car owners:
“The Romanian citizens who in good faith bought a Volkswagen car, for quite a lot of money, will not cover the cost of this difference because they were not aware of the situation. The Romanian state will sue Volkswagen and recover its losses. Clearly, we have to cut our losses, namely the amount of environmental tax due to us starting from the date when Euro 5 category vehicles started being manufactured and marketed. We will also sue for penalties.”
In Germany, the police searched the company’s headquarters as part of investigations into the emissions scandal surrounding Germany’s biggest car manufacturer. The police were looking for documents and computer records that might help identify the employees involved in the case. In Washington, the head of Volkswagen American division Michael Horn appeared before the US Congress, where he offered an apology.
He said he was not informed and had to reason to suspect that Volkswagen vehicles included a pollution-cheating device. He defended the company saying that it was not a corporate decision to install cheat software devices, but blamed a couple of software engineers. The attempt at cheating will not go unpunished. The damage to the company’s credibility and image, and indeed to that of other German companies may never be recovered.