Volkswagen Debacle on Financial Par With BP Oil Spill


Volkswagen’s cheating on clean air rules in the United States has driven investors into a deep funk.

The German carmaker’s market capitalization shrank 16.6 billion euros, or $18.6 billion, in just over a day, after it was caught falsifying emissions on certain cars sold in the United States. The eventual cost could be higher. Although other carmakers have paid less for misdeeds, the better analogy might be oil: BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon fiasco.

Rival carmakers got off relatively lightly for recent transgressions in the United States with more disastrous immediate consequences. General Motors paid $900 million to settle a lawsuit over faulty ignition switches linked to 124 deaths. Toyota paid $1.2 billion last year for malfunctioning accelerators tied to fewer fatalities…

Volkswagen Debacle on Financial Par With BP Oil Spill

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