36 Contingent liabilities

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€ million


Dec. 31, 2015


Dec. 31, 2014







Prior-year figures adjusted.

Liabilities under guarantees





Liabilities under warranty contracts





Assets pledged as security for third-party liabilities*





Other contingent liabilities










The trust assets and liabilities of the savings and trust entities belonging to the South American subsidiaries not included in the consolidated balance sheet amount to €702 million (previous year: €802 million).

In the case of liabilities from guarantees, the Group is required to make specific payments if the debtors fail to meet their obligations.

Financial guarantee contracts within the meaning of IFRS 7 are now presented in the Liquidity risk section in note 34 and are no longer included in liabilities from guarantees. Starting in fiscal year 2015, the pledge of claims under certificates of deposit with Bankhaus Metzler to secure a loan granted to Fleet Investments B.V. by Bankhaus Metzler is presented under liquidity risks in note 34. In the previous year, this was contained in assets pledged as security for third-party liabilities. The prior-year disclosure was adjusted accordingly.

The other contingent liabilities are attributable primarily to potential liabilities arising from matters relating to taxes and customs duties, as well as to litigation and proceedings relating to suppliers, dealers, customers and employees.

The other contingent liabilities at €1 billion contain potential settlements under product-related claims, investor lawsuits, and possible fines or other monetary sanctions resulting from administrative proceedings and proceedings involving other administrative-type authorities in connection with the diesel issue, provided that the criteria for disclosing a contingent liability have been met. As a general principle, they do not include any class action lawsuits and criminal investigations/misdemeanour proceedings related to the diesel issue filed outside of the USA and Canada, as well as specific portions of investor lawsuits which meet the definition of a contingent liability but could not, as a rule, be disclosed because it is impossible to measure the amount involved. These proceedings are still at a very early stage, meaning that in a number of cases the plaintiffs have so far not specified the basis of their claims and/or there is insufficient certainty about the number of plaintiffs or the amounts being claimed.

In 2011, the European Commission opened antitrust proceedings against European truck manufacturers including MAN and Scania. In November 2014, the European Commission sent a statement of objections to MAN, Scania and the other truck manufacturers concerned, in which it informed the truck manufacturers of the objections raised against them and gave them the right to comment extensively on the objections raised and to exercise other rights of defense before any decision is reached. Because the investigation is still ongoing and due to the associated uncertainties, Volkswagen is not currently in a position to predict the decisions of the authorities and thus any potential fines.

As permitted by IAS 37.92, in order not to prejudice the outcomes of the proceedings and the interests of the Company, we have not made any further disclosures about estimates in connection with the financial effects of, and disclosures about, uncertainty regarding the timing or amount of contingent liabilities in connection with the diesel issue and investigations by the European Commission. Further information can be found in note 37 “Litigation”.