The company, once the shining example of Germany's economic prowess, is feeling the pain on many fronts:
Financial: It will set aside $7.3 billion in its third-quarter accounts to help cover the costs of the scandal. Fines are expected to add up to $18 billion, while almost $17 billion was wiped off VW's share price on Monday alone. Shares were up on Thursday but are still down about 24 percent from where they traded on last week before the scandal broke.
Personal: Martin Winterkorn stepped down on Wednesday as CEO, saying the firm needed a "fresh start." The company is expected to announce a successor on Friday – along with the names of those responsible for the scandal.
Brand damage: Having made some of Europe's most popular cars, the Volkswagen brand is now under fire. "This is a sad tumble for the company that was named one of the top global brands in 2014," Marianne Griebler, a marketing communications consultant, wrote on LinkedIn this week. "It's not enough to tell a good story. You have to make it real for your customers. And that's why Volkswagen hasn't just put a few dings in their brand; they may have totaled it."
The Volkswagen Golf was Germany's favorite car last year, measured by new passenger vehicle registrations. Volkswagen overtook Toyota as the world's biggest car maker by sales in the first half of the year, according to data from the car firms.