Sloan: What will VW’s cheating scandal cost car owners?

The Volkswagen logo adorns the grill of a car | Courtesy of Gerry Lauzon/Flickr
Courtesy of Gerry Lauzon/Flickr

Today, let’s play financial voyeur and try to figure out a few important numbers involving Volkswagen.

No, I’m not talking about how much Volkswagen’s decision to cheat on the tests of 11 million of its diesel vehicles will cost the company — that’s been analyzed to death. Rather, I want to see if we can figure out how big the financial hit is for Volkswagen’s innocent victims: the people who own the 11 million vehicles.

Allan Sloan is a columnist for The Washington Post. He is a seven-time winner of the Loeb Award, business journalism’s highest honor. View Archive
Unless VW can come up with a miraculous fix that lets the affected vehicles meet pollution standards without diminishing mileage and performance — fat chance of that happening! — the vehicles’ owners will take a financial hit. How so? Because the vehicles’ degraded performance and degraded image will knock billions of dollars off the vehicles’ value in the resale and trade-in markets. And that will come out of the owners’ pockets.

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Allan Sloan is a columnist for The Washington Post. He is a seven-time winner of the Loeb Award, business journalism’s highest honor. View Archive


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