Volkswagen AG has doubled the provisions it set aside to 16.2 billion euros ($18.2 billion) to cover the costs of addressing its diesel emissions cheating scandal. In a statement released on Friday, Europe’s largest automotive manufacturer indicated that the hit will result in the biggest loss in the automaker’s history. Annual dividends for the company were cut 97 percent to 0.17 euros per preferred share, its largest loss in value since the year 2000. In response, VW stock posted a decline of 1.3 percent. Shares in the company have rebounded 45 percent after hitting a low in October.
In the statement, VW Chief Executive Officer Matthias Mueller indicated that the “repercussions of the emissions issue are now quantifiable” and “having a huge impact on Volkswagen’s financial position.” VW insists however, that its operations will be able to overcome the crisis without impacting jobs. At the end of December, the company maintained 24.5 billion euros in net liquidity.
VW remains mired in the scandal that began in September after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that the company had rigged the results of emissions tests by deploying illicit engine control software. It is estimated that as many as 11 million vehicles worldwide are affected.