For Volkswagen, the cost of its cheating on emissions tests in the U.S. is likely to run into the tens of billions of dollars and prematurely end its long-sought status as the world’s biggest carmaker.
As well as fines from governments, Volkswagen faces the massive expense of recalling up to 11 million cars globally. Already the company has set aside 6.5 billion euros ($7.3 billion) to cover the fines and recalls – but it’s a fair bet that’s only the start.
Some experts estimate the bill could exceed $34 billion. Beyond initial charges, the company is expected to suffer a drop in sales. And the damage to the brand’s image could take years to heal.