The head of Volkswagen AG's top-selling brand says he's confident the German automaker will reach agreement with U.S regulators to bring nearly 500,000 diesel vehicles into compliance with U.S. emissions laws. Hayley Platt reports
Volkswagen unveils it's latest electric concept car at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. But before showing off BUDD-E - Herbert Diess, VW's brand chief, addressed a rather more pressing problem facing the 78 year-old company. (SOUNDBITE (English) VW BRAND CHIEF HERBERT DIESS SAYING: "The current issues concerning the diesel engines is certainly nothing to be proud of. We disappointed our customers and the American people, for which I am truly sorry and I apologise." Diess said VW was confident of reaching an agreement with U.S regulators. It follows Monday's news that the U.S. Justice Department is suing the auto maker for up to $48 billion for allegedly violating environment laws. Around 500,000 diesel vehicles sold in America are under suspicion. VW has already admitted installing devices to cheat emissions tests. Martin Winterkorn - its former CEO - resigned back in November over the scandal. CIBC's Jeremy Stretch said there could be more to come. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CIBC, HEAD OF FX STRATEGY, JEREMY STRETCH, SAYING: "I think there will be ongoing staffing changes over the course of the ensuing months and probably years. This isn't going to be a problem that is going to go away days weeks or months, it could well be the case that's we're still discussing the legacy issues related to this story, two, three, five years down the line." VW now has the task of recalling and repairing the cars which don't comply with emissions standards. It expects to have dealt with the 8.5 million diesel cars sold in Europe by 2016. The damage to the brand could last much longer.