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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  Xetra  >  Volkswagen AG    VOW3   DE0007664039

VOLKSWAGEN AG

(VOW3)
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U.S. court refuses to shield Volkswagen in diesel scandal lawsuits

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06/01/2020 | 08:17pm EDT
The Volkswagen logo is seen on a vehicle at the New York Auto Show in New York

By David Shepardson and Jonathan Stempel

A U.S. appeals court ruled on Monday that Volkswagen AG cannot escape potential financial penalties from two counties in Florida and Utah that may amount to a "staggering" additional liability arising from the German automaker's diesel emissions scandal.

The unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting in Anchorage, Alaska, was a victory for Utah's Salt Lake County and Florida's Hillsborough County. The counties sued VW for causing excess diesel emissions harmful to the environment and could in theory seek billions of dollars in damages.

Volkswagen settled U.S. criminal and civil actions prompted by the cheating scandal for more than $20 billion, but that did not shield it from liability from local and state governments, the 9th Circuit noted.

The 9th Circuit found that nothing in the Clean Air Act "raises the inference that Congress intended to place manufacturers beyond the reach of state and local governments."

Volkswagen has admitted to using illegal software to cheat U.S. pollution tests in 2015, allowing up to 40 times legally allowable emissions.

The judges wrote that they were "mindful that our conclusion may result in staggering liability for Volkswagen. But this result is due to conduct that could not have been anticipated by Congress: Volkswagen's intentional tampering with post-sale vehicles to increase air pollution."

The two counties each have penalties of $5,000 per day for tampering violations and had a combined total of at least 6,100 polluting VW diesel vehicles. U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer, who had ruled in the case in 2018, noted at the time that "the potential penalties could reach $30.6 million per day and $11.2 billion per year."

Volkswagen vowed to seek further review by the 9th Circuit or the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary, saying the ruling conflicts with the findings of other courts.

"Those other courts rightly recognized the chaos that would ensue if thousands of localities can regulate manufacturers' updates of their software systems, which are an inherent feature of modern vehicles and, in this case, reduced emissions," Volkswagen said.

The scandal triggered a global backlash against diesel vehicles that has so far cost VW 30 billion euros ($33.3 billion) in fines, penalties and vehicle buyback costs.

(Reporting by David Shepardson and Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Will Dunham)

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ONE STOP SYSTEMS, INC. 3.95% 2.37 Delayed Quote.17.33%
SEEK LIMITED 2.04% 21.56 End-of-day quote.-4.39%
THE GLOBAL LTD. 2.84% 217 End-of-day quote.-53.93%
VOLKSWAGEN AG 2.75% 141.16 Delayed Quote.-22.05%
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Financials
Sales 2020 212 B 242 B 242 B
Net income 2020 2 976 M 3 392 M 3 392 M
Net cash 2020 24 618 M 28 067 M 28 067 M
P/E ratio 2020 21,6x
Yield 2020 1,70%
Capitalization 72 958 M 83 305 M 83 180 M
EV / Sales 2019
EV / Sales 2020 0,23x
Nbr of Employees 670 011
Free-Float 57,0%
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Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 25
Average target price 161,46 €
Last Close Price 141,16 €
Spread / Highest target 71,4%
Spread / Average Target 14,4%
Spread / Lowest Target -44,0%
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Managers
NameTitle
Herbert Diess Chairman-Management Board
Hans Dieter Pötsch Chairman-Supervisory Board
Frank Witter Head-Finance & Information Technology
Peter Mosch Deputy Chairman
Bernd Osterloh Member-Supervisory Board
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