During a gathering of workers at VW’s headquarters, group CEO Matthias Mueller said that the implications of Dieselgate will keep his company busy “for a long time”.
Board member Stephan Weil even warned that more unpleasant news is on its way as German prosecutors have begun widening their investigation.
“We will this year probably every now and then be confronted with unpleasant news related to dieselgate,” said Weil, before adding that the damage “will, on balance, not be minor, as much as that can already by said today but Volkswagen luckily has a strong economic substance.”
After expanding their investigation, German prosecutors in Brunswick are now investigating 17 employees – up from the 6 being previously investigated.
According to Autonews, prosecutor Klaus Ziehe told media that “This is part of the diesel investigation, the number of suspects has risen, although none are from the management board.”
Last year, VW set aside no fewer than 6.7 billion euros ($7.39) in order to cover the costs of recalling roughly 11 million diesel vehicles on a global scale. However, that figure did not include other billions of euros’ worth of fines and compensation payouts.
According to Klaus Breitenbach, a Frankfurt-based analyst with Baader Bank, VW may need to set aside an additional 15.5 billion euros by the time it reports 2015’s financial results on April 28th.