Some interesting projections in The New York Times find an estimated death toll in the US from 46,000 tons of air pollution spewed secretly by VW diesel engines at between 40-to-106, which is at the higher end of known deaths to date caused in the US by faulty GM ignition switches:
Unlike the ignition defect in General Motors vehicles that caused at least 124 people to die in car crashes, Volkswagen pollution is harder to link to individual deaths. But it is clear to public health researchers that the air pollutants the cars illegally emitted damage health, and they have formulas to calculate the lives lost from excess pollution. Indeed, the Environmental Protection Agency uses its own estimates of the health effects of air pollution to create its regulations of what’s allowed. After consulting with several experts in modeling the health effects of air pollutants, we calculated a death toll in the United States that, at its upper range, isn’t far off from that caused by the G.M. defect.