VW Chief Warns Workers Tough Financial Times Are Ahead

VW chief VW TDI diesel dieselgate

It’s no doubt a pretty sobering day at Volkswagen’s headquarters with warnings of dire financial straits ahead and looming layoffs due to dieselgate.

Tuesday, VW chief Matthias Mueller warned workers that difficult times are ahead in wake of the six-month old TDI emissions scandal. He says it will inflict “substantial and painful” financial damage on the company and keep VW busy for a “very long time.” By that, he meant it will take years to fully gauge the full financial impact on the company and its impact on jobs. But VW’s labor chief is already warning it could lead to layoffs depending on the fines VW ends up ultimately paying.

Automotive News reports that board member Stephan Weil also warned workers that he expects more unpleasant news to emerge as German prosecutors expand their investigation.

“We will this year probably every now and then be confronted with unpleasant news related to dieselgate,” said Weil. “The damage will, on balance, not be minor, as much as that can already be said today but Volkswagen luckily has a strong economic substance.”

All of this comes as Volkswagen still tries to come up with a fix for nearly 600,000 U.S. vehicles equipped with software designed to cheat U.S. emissions tests. It’s already come up with a fix for European models.

The U.S. Justice Department is also suing VW for up to $46 billion for breaching environmental laws. Reuters reports that VW is also being sued by a German insurer as well.

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