Volkswagen’s Diesel Emission Pollution: Thousands of People Could Die Prematurely in Europe

A vehicle emission scandal hit German auto giant Volkswagen in late 2015, after the automaker used special software to deceive the general public that its cars were eco-friendly with minimum-level environmental emissions. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) however proved them wrong by demonstrating that Volkswagen was fraudulent in its claims. The automaker agreed to a US settlement of $22 billion and a recall of millions of vehicles installed with the emission cheat software.

1,200 people might die in Europe

If Volkswagen had thought that financial settlement in the United States and recall of millions of affected cars in the US and Europe would close its cheating scandal, then it got another thought coming. A new study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters on Friday revealed that 1,200 people will lose their lives prematurely in Europe as a result of the automaker's excessive gas emissions, Yahoo News reports.

In a breakdown down of the estimated 1,200 premature deaths, the US is expected to lose 500 lives from Volkswagen's emission fraud. Poland is expected to lose about 160 lives to premature deaths, and France might lose about 84 lives as well. The Czech Republic will lose 72 lives and Italy will lose an expected 55 lives. Austria will also lose 27 citizens and Switzerland will contribute 40 lives to the statistics, while Hungary will add 32 lives and Britain add another 30 live with Romania coming up in the rear with 27 persons to be lost.

Volkswagen will surely suffer more than expected with this emission fraud

Volkswagen had calculated to profit from this dangerous vehicle emission fraud, but it may not have to suffer more than ever anticipated. As soon as the EPA proved its case and Volkswagen agreed to the fraud, its stocks fell through by 40%. Former CEO Martin Winterkorn also stepped down even though he claimed he had no knowledge of the scam, while Mathias Mueller took over as chief executive. Several employees and core engineers were also fired from the company.

The German automaker has agreed to pay $22 billion in compensation to the US, but the European Commission is also asking for financial compensation. The company will also pay affected customers $16,000 per person for the incident, with additional plans to buy back 600,000 affected cars or shell out $16 billion to fix the cars. Over two million of the affected cars will be recalled in Germany and around 900,000 in France. The automaker however announced last month that it fixed 3.4 million affected cars in Europe, out of the 8.5 million cars sold in Europe or a total 11 million sold worldwide.

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