Volkswagen looked set to miss a deadline to agree with U.S. regulators how to address excess emissions in 580,000 vehicles, as the embattled German carmaker struggles to move on from the emissions cheating scandal despite months of talks. Joel Flynn reports.
If Volkswagen is trying to draw a line under its emissions cheating scandal, this might not be the way to do it. As a deadline approached, there was no sign of an agreement between the German carmaker and U.S. regulators about how to fix more than half a million diesel vehicles. A federal court hearing in California had expected some news. SOUNDBITE: 7 Investment Management Market Analyst, Chris Justin, saying (English): "How deep does the hole go? Certainly they were given a clear period of time to sort this out, I think it was six months the district judge gave them, and it seems that they're not going to be able to give a clear answer as to what they're going to do with those 600,000-odd cars that are affected by the emissions scandal. VW has managed to strike a deal with European authorities. But an agreement in the U.S. still looks to be weeks away. With estimated costs already in the billions for settling and rectifying the emissions cheating vehicles, there's still little sign of an end to the scandal. SOUNDBITE: 7 Investment Management Market Analyst, Chris Justin, saying (English): "I think the damage to the brand is, I don't know whether I'd go so far as to say irreversible, but it certainly going to have a huge impact on investor confidence going forward. They've already put aside six or seven billion dollars to cater for the potential cost of this.." The U.S. Department of Justice sued VW in February for up to 46 billion dollars for violating U.S. environmental laws. While Volkswagen has declined to comment on the status of the talks, regulators and consumers are looking for more action as well as words.