Volkswagen has went ahead and hired the lawyers used by BP with their Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill .
Remember that oil spill by BP back in 2010 that spewed out close to five million barrels of oil over 87 days? According to Fortune on their post earlier today (Sept. 23, 2015) the legal dream team that somewhat got BP out of that legal quagmire has been called into play once more in getting VW out of the legal jungle they’ll most certainly traverse as details about the extent of the dieselgate scandal start to surface.
Two years after all legal proceedings all but wrapped up for BP, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, the law firm that VW has tapped, BP and the US Department of Justice pleaded guilty on 11 counts of manslaughter, two misdemeanors and one felony count for lying to congress. Although they initially settled on $4.525 billion in fines, BP has had to shell out more than $42.2 billion in criminal and civil settlements as well as cleanup. Earlier this year, BP had to pay another $18.7 billion in fines in the largest settlement in U.S. history.
This all comes upon news that VW’s CEO Martin Winterkorn has quit after submitting his letter of resignation earlier today. In his own words, Winterkorn stated how VW needed a fresh start and that this was the first step of many that VW would need to regain consumer confidence. Earlier yesterday, Martin Winterkorn did post this video pretty much fessing up to the entire debacle and apologizing.
If all fines are dealt to the maximum amount, VW is potentially looking down the barrel of an $18 billion paycheck for each of the close to 500,000 vehicles in the U.S. affected by the diesel software. As far as we’re concerned, this is just the beginning of a long legal battle that will play out publicly and surely further damage the already tarnished VW name.