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Diesel scandal has cost VW 1.7 billion in legal fees, car giant says

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FILED – The Volkswagen brand logo hangs on a building of the combined heat and power plant in the VW plant in Wolfsburg. Photo: Hauke-Christian Dittrich/dpa

Volkswagen’s scandal over diesel emissions has cost the company 1.77 billion euros (2 billion dollars) in fees for consultants and lawyers, a spokesman for the German car giant said on Sunday.

The sum, which is expected to grow amid ongoing legal disputes, includes payments by all car brands owned by the German maker, such as Audi and Porsche, and in all of the company’s international markets.

In 2015, a US environmental regulator showed that VW had cheated emissions tests on its vehicles by installing defeat devices which allowed the cars to sense when they were being monitored and emit lower levels of nitrogen oxide.

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Among the major contractors hired by the car company after the scandal broke was US law firm Jones Day, which VW commissioned in September 2015 to represent it against complaints in the US.

The revelation of the financial burden of the scandal comes after Volkswagen reported a hit to its profits at the start of the year. The Volkswagen Group earned 3.05 billion euros in the first quarter of 2019, compared with around 3.3 billion euros a year ago.

The costs of legal disputes over the company’s emissions manipulation in diesel engines are partly to blame for this, with VW’s Chief Financial Officer Frank Witter pointing in May to the costs of lawyers, settlements and ongoing proceedings.


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