The company will clearly be hoping to change the narrative. And soon.
One way it may do that is the announcement of a significant new wind power deal, in which Spanish turbine maker Gamesa will build a 130MW wind farm to power two VW factories in Mexico.
It might be tempting to see this as a bit of smoke and mirrors—getting us all to look this way while the company cleans up its diesel mess. But that's being a little uncharitable. Any deal like this will have been years in the making, and if you ignore the egregious cheating scandal, VW has won accolades in the past for some of its sustainability practices.
Given that rival Toyota has pledged 100% emission-free factories and 90% emission-free cars within the next 35 years, we can expect to see many more announcements like this one to come, not to mention greater ambition in creating truly greener cars.
I am no fan of Volkswagen at the moment. And the company deserves to suffer consequences for its actions. But if the public scrutiny that follows leads to a speedier transition away from fossil fuels, then that's certainly a case of every belch of diesel fumes having a decidedly silver lining.