Dieselgate Drama

Volkswagen's Own Worst Enemy

VW building reflected in a puddle source bloomberg
VW's world is upside down, a fact the carmaker is only now addressing.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Volkswagen’s flawed handling of the emissions-rigging scandal could encourage U.S. regulators to push for steep penalties against Germany’s largest carmaker.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Lawyers involved in Siemens’ mid-2000s bribery scandal say the engineering giant’s experience offers lessons for VW in how to deal with angry American regulators.
    • In 2008, Siemens agreed to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in penalties after admitting it had systematically bribed foreign officials.
    • Volkswagen could face steep fines in the United States over the company’s sale of about 500,000 diesel cars equipped with technology to cheat on emissions tests.
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    Audio

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Shareholders and others dependent on Volkswagen’s financial success want the company to do everything it can to limit fines for selling U.S. customers about 500,000 diesel cars equipped to cheat on emissions tests.

Lawyers who helped Siemens, another scandal-hit German firm that emerged from a bribery scandal and avoided a meltdown with U.S. regulators, say the Wolfsburg-based carmaker isn’t doing itself any favors.

In 2008, Siemens agreed to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in penalties after admitting that the company had systematically bribed foreign officials to win engineering contracts.

Attorneys who counseled Siemens after its bribery scandal erupted in 2006 are criticizing VW for ignoring advice that could help the automaker keep potential U.S. penalties in check.

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