Another litigation battlefront could be opening up for Volkswagen as a US judge tells the carmaker it and former Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn must defend an investor lawsuit in California over the company's diesel emissions cheating scandal. Laura Frykberg reports.
BROADCAST AND DIGITAL RESTRICTIONS~** Broadcasters:NONE Digital:NONE ** The new year has brought no new beginnings for Volkswagen. The German carmaker is facing another lawsuit. This time from investors with American Depository Receipts. A form of foreign share ownership for U.S. stockholders. They say Volkswagen executives misled the investing public. And claimed all diesel vehicles met emissions standards. Something we now know to be hot air. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LCG SENIOR ANALYST, JASPER LAWLER, SAYING: "What is probably next to come in the U.S. and another big risk to them is a criminal probe. And any potential fines that come along with any criminal recriminations from what they have done as far as the dieselgate scandal." And that, say analysts, could leave Volkswagen billions more out of pocket. Among those ordered to defend the claims... Is Volkswagen's former CEO Martin Winterkorn. Who resigned days after the scandal became public. Since then the company's had more and more lawsuits With bigger and bigger bills. In the U.S. alone it's cost the company up to 17.5 billion dollars for past misdeeds ... At a time when VW is desperate to look the future .... (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER, CCLA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, JAMES BEVAN, SAYING: "There is considerable investor concern that VW has not yet articulated a long-term strategy to cope with fuel change towards electric vehicles in the way that Ford has now announced its intention." On Tuesday - the company also had its first legal case in Germany A clear run from Dieselgate looks a long way off.