VW lawyers up with firm that defended BP

The string of bad news for Volkswagen shows no sign of slowing yet, especially with the recent resignation of CEO Martin Winterkorn. For aid in its legal defense in the US over its ongoing diesel emissions scandal, the automaker has now employed Kirkland & Ellis LLP, which was the same law firm BP used for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, according to Automotive News.

VW is surely hoping that things go easier for it than BP. After the massive oil spill, the company paid $4 billion to settle criminal allegations and another $18.7 billion for the other federal and state claims, Automotive News reports. We'll see.

Based on fines for each of the 482,000 diesel vehicles with this evasive software in the US, VW could be on the hook for $18 billion from this lapse. In addition, 11 million units are potentially affected across the globe, and the company is already setting aside 6.5 billion euros ($7.25 billion) in expected costs. The automaker's stock on the German exchange is being hit hard by this scandal.

The original discovery of high pollution levels in VW's 2.0-liter TDI engine began with researchers last summer, and the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board had been working on the problem for months before the EPA issued its notice of violation on September 18. A criminal investigation has now begun. The day before his resignation, Winterkorn issued a video where he apologized profusely for the scandal and promised to make things right.

Volkswagen Information


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