VW's credit ratings could take a beating

In addition to a significant drop in its share price already, Volkswagen's diesel emissions scandal is continuing to have major financial repercussions on the German automaker. According to The Detroit News, credit rating agencies like Standard & Poor's and Moody's changed their forecasts on the company to negative, and Fitch has considered doing so, as well.

Volkswagen appears to have the money to cover the costs of this ordeal, but the agencies question the effect that this has in the long term. "Moody's concern, however, is that Volkswagen's alleged breach of US environment rules and, especially, the process by which that breach occurred, will have an adverse effect on its reputation and credibility within the global passenger car markets," the company wrote in a note to investors, according to The Detroit News. VW has initially set aside $7.25 billion to fix things, but the potential shakeup of top executives has caused some investor uncertainty, too.

The actual costs for VW to deal with this scandal are still unknown. In the US, the Department of Justice has begun a criminal investigation, and with other automakers the government has settled for $900 million against General Motors and $1.2 billion against Toyota. Attorneys general in 29 states have started looking deeper, according to The Detroit News, and regulators in Europe, South Korea, and Canada have commenced their own probes, as well.

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