Matthias Mueller, CEO of Volkswagen AG.jpg
Matthias Mueller, CEO of Volkswagen AG
Photograph: EPA/JULIAN STRATENSCHULTE

Volkswagen chief executive Matthias Mueller warned about drastic consequences for the car manufacturer if penalties on the company in the US over its emissions scandal are also enforced in Germany, the Sunday issue of German daily Die Welt said.

"You don't need to be a mathematician to recognize that a damages payment of any amount would overwhelm Volkswagen," Mueller told the paper, amid renewed calls from German consumer watchdogs for a US-style repayment to VW customers in Germany.

The company has agreed to pay as much as 14.7 billion dollars for buybacks, damages and penalties in the US resulting from the carmaker's emissions scandal.

The German carmaker said it would buy back or retrofit about 480,000 2-litre diesel vehicles in the US affected by the scandal, and offer consumers cash payments on top for their troubles.

Mueller said that Volkswagen has set aside 16.2 billion euros (18 billion dollars) to deal with the crisis, and remained financially secure.

However, the VW chief said the situation in Germany could not be compared with the US, where authorities expect most customers of VW diesel cars affected by the emissions scandal to upgrade their vehicles to meet emissions standards

Owners of these cars in the US are to receive cash payments to redress the harm caused by the company's deceptive advertising.

"Payments to customers in the US are meant to give owners an incentive to retrofit their cars," Mueller said. "But I don't need to comment on the financial impact for our company if we were to do that" in Germany, the VW chief said.

Latest news

Alphabet's self-driving car company sues Uber over alleged theft

Alphabet's self-driving car company Waymo said Thursday it was suing Uber and its subsidiary Otto for allegedly stealing its technology and infringing its patents.

US, Mexico take "important steps" even as Trump voices indifference

Top US and Mexican diplomatic and security officials met on Thursday in Mexico City, as President Donald Trump in Washington expressed ambivalence about relations with the United States' southern neighbour.

US Supreme Court's Ginsberg emphasizes value of free press

US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg expressed optimism about the political future of the United States despite the polarized and combative political atmosphere that has marked the fledgling presidency of Donald Trump.

Top Trump aide Bannon points to promises kept, media fight

Top White House strategist Steve Bannon said Thursday US President Donald Trump is keeping the promises he made during his campaign on issues from immigration to job creation.

Le Pen promises independent foreign policy, autonomous defence

Marine Le Pen promised Thursday that if elected president of France she would ensure it had a truly independent foreign policy as well as an autonomous capacity for self-defence.

Slovenia for ending lawsuits against Ljubljanska Banka

Croatia is infringing the memorandum of understanding signed with Slovenia in 2013 which they interpret differently, the Slovenian Embassy said on Thursday after a hearing at a Zagreb court in a suit which Croatia's PBZ bank filed against Slovenia's Ljubljanska Banka (LB) and Nova Ljubljanska Bank (NLB) over transferred foreign currency savings.

Marin Pucar appointed as new CEO in Podravka food concern

Marin Pucar is the new Management Board chairman of the Podravka food concern and will take the helm of the company after Zvonimir Mrsic's term expires at midnight on Thursday.

Croatian MEP says Moscow wants to influence in western Balkans

Croatian MEP Ivan Jakovcic said in an interview with the Montenegrin Pobjeda daily on Thursday that Moscow is trying to exploit the political forces in Montenegro and that Russia's meddling in Montenegro's internal affairs was "unacceptable behaviour."

New York Times launches brand campaign for 'The Truth' with Oscars ad

The New York Times is using Sunday's Academy Awards show to launch an advertising drive with an ad spot that capitalizes on President Donald Trump's confrontational relationship with the paper and other mainstream media.

Gambia charges former spy chief with murder of opposition leader

The former head of the Gambian national intelligence agency has been charged with the murder of an opposition youth leader who died in detention last year.

Dutch populist Wilders won't publicly campaign after security fiasco

The Dutch Party for Freedom (PVV) won't make public appearances in support of its election campaign after a security official assigned to protect party founder Geert Wilders was detained by police.

Peace Implementation Council Steering Board calls for defusing tensions in Bosnia

The Steering Board of the Peace Implementation Council in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) met on Thursday, expressing the international community's concern about the situation in the country and calling on local politicians to act rationally to prevent an escalation of the crisis after a motion was submitted to review an International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling in BiH's case against Serbia for genocide.