在地球的另一邊，另一個公害事件正像核子彈一樣爆發開來，越演越烈！美國媒體每天緊追不捨的報導 Volkswagen (VW) 廢氣排放數據造假的醜聞，從消費者所提起的團體訴訟 (Class-Action) 、美國政府以 VW 違反 Clean Air Act 而處以 1,800 萬美元的罰鍰，一直到 VW 決定召回 1,100 萬輛有瑕疵的柴油車等等，單單是行政罰、民事賠償、商品製造人責任的總賠償金額，可能超過 73 億美金（我應該沒有多算或少算一個零吧？ 7.3 billion USD ）！這還不夠， VW 高層負責人不但在德國可能被處以刑責，就連美國司法部也已展開刑事犯罪的調查 ….. 。
Lawyers are moving to consolidate widespread litigation stemming from Volkswagen AG’s emissions-cheating scandal, setting up a legal fight expected to spur rafts of depositions and demands for billions of dollars in damages.
Plaintiffs’ lawyers filed more than two dozen lawsuits in courts across the U.S. within days of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Sept. 18 disclosure that Volkswagen admitted to cheating on emissions test for nearly a half million diesel-powered cars sold in the U.S. since 2008.
Now, lawyers across the U.S. are jockeying to move class-action lawsuits, expected to number in the hundreds, before one federal judge for a long-running case.
Such consolidated lawsuit are called multidistrict litigation, or MDL, since they are culled from legal actions across different jurisdictions.
The barrage from U.S. plaintiffs’ lawyers adds to mounting pressure on Volkswagen, which faces criminal and regulatory probes across the globe. German prosecutors on Monday launched a criminal investigation of former Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn and other unnamed executives.
There are lots of uncertainties ahead for Volkswagen AG as the fallout from its emission-cheating scandal continues. But one thing is guaranteed – the massive challenges facing its finance chief.
The scandal has put Chief Financial Office Hans Dieter Pötsch in the hot seat, as he confronts the daunting task of determining how much money VW will need to fix the millions of cars involved and to finance fines and settle legal claims against the company.
Finding someone qualified to manage the balance sheets of a global manufacturer and its financing unit could be a tall order. “What they need right now is someone who is very sound and has outstanding and has outstanding experience in financial crisis management,” said Walter Friederichs, head of the automotive practice for executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates. “The biggest challenge in the future is adjusting the business model so that it’s sound and reliable for the long term.”
A Justice Department investigation into whether VW AG should face criminal charges for cheating on emissions test highlights what some lawmakers say is a long-standing gap in U.S. environmental law.
U.S. lawmakers and activists hope the VW prove will lead to changes to the law, including criminal penalties for emissions violations.
The Justice Department previously has considered charging auto makers that skirted pollution laws, according to people familiar with the matter. But the department, facing problems with jurisdiction and evidence, ultimately decided against criminal charges in those cases.
s they debate their best course, Justice Department lawyers may still decide against criminal charges for VW. “We take these allegations, and their potential implications for public health and air pollution in the United States, very seriously,” said spokesman Wyn Hornbuckle.