Germany’s transport minister is in the US today to meet senior officials as Berlin seeks to put a lid on the Volkswagen emissions scandal.
Alexander Dobrindt will discuss US regulators’ plans to increase scrutiny on automotive pollution with transportation secretary Anthony Foxx and officials from the Environmental Protection Agency.
VW, the largest employer in Germany, could be hit with a multi-billion dollar fine in the US for manipulating emissions tests and also faces a raft of criminal probes around the world.
An estimated 11m VW diesel vehicles are thought to be fitted with software designed to cheat emissions tests, including 1.2m in the UK. Just 500,000 of the cars are in the US, however penalties are expected to be higher than in Europe.
The company’s third quarter financial results will be published on Wednesday, and it is widely expected to post a €3.5bn (£2.5bn) loss, compared with a profit of €3.2bn in the same period last year.
The company set aside €6.5bn in provisions to meet costs from the scandal, although a report in German business publication Manager Magazin suggested costs could eventually balloon to €30bn and result in a freeze in managerial promotions next year. Ratings agency Moody’s has also cautioned that the scandal could cost VW up to $31bn.
The company’s new chief executive Matthias Mueller has also said he expects the car maker to have to put aside further funds to meet costs.