Germany Said to Defend VW Car Owners on Recall, Repair Costs

The Long Rise and Rapid Fall of Volkswagen
  • Document shows government expects Volkswagen to compensate
  • Goal is to avoid `additional burdens' over diesel scandal

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government wants Volkswagen AG to avoid sticking auto owners with any costs related to the recall of diesel cars at the center of the company’s emissions cheating scandal.

As Volkswagen faces an Oct. 7 government deadline to present a timetable and technical details for fixing an estimated 2.8 million vehicles in Germany alone, the Transportation Ministry “expects that these measures don’t result in additional burdens on car owners,” according to a ministry document obtained by Bloomberg. VW should also offer compensation “as appropriate,” says the document, which was prepared to update German lawmakers on measures the government is taking to address the scandal.

The ministry’s stance suggests policy makers intend to put pressure on Volkswagen amid the government’s investigation and avoid a possible backlash among the nation’s 44 million motorists. Merkel urged VW on Sept. 22 to put all the facts on the table as quickly as possible. The ministry declined to comment on the document.

Volkswagen has said the irregularities on diesel-emission readings involve 11 million vehicles worldwide. The German carmaker has set aside 6.5 billion euros ($7.3 billion) in an initial tally of the potential costs such as repairs and recalls.

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