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.
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