Volkswagen fined $2.8bn in U.S. diesel emission scandal

by Ben Pena April 22, 2017, 1:52
Volkswagen fined $2.8bn in U.S. diesel emission scandal

A half-dozen other Volkswagen employees were also indicted in the company's emissions fraud, though majority reside in Germany and are unlikely to appear in the U.S.to face charges.

Volkswagen, now the world's largest automaker, could have been fined anywhere from $17 billion to $34 billion under USA law but was said to be cooperative, engaged - save for a few executives and workers who obstructed the investigation - and actively correcting its corporate culture.

Volkswagen also has agreed to civil settlements worth about $17 billion for US consumers and dealers who own the automaker's diesel vehicles.

Volkswagen AG is slated to be sentenced Friday to a possible almost $3 billion fine after last month pleading guilty to three criminal charges for its 10-year conspiracy to rig almost 600,000 diesel cars to cheat USA emissions standards.

In the world of lawsuits and settlements, this is a significant payout by the German automaker and a major warning to other manufacturers.

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Larry Thompson, a deputy attorney general under former President George W. Bush, has been named to lead the independent monitoring team at Volkswagen, Assistant U.S. Attorney John Neal said. "This is a very serious and very troubling case involving an iconic automobile company", Cox added.

Cox railed against corporate greed during Friday's hearing.

Birmingham attorney Craig Hilborn asked Cox to reject the government's plea deal because it did not include any court-ordered restitution for victims and did not charge Volkswagen Group of America with a crime.

"Plain and simple, it was wrong".

"We have worked tirelessly to address the misconduct that took place within our company and make things right for our affected customers", the company said in a statement on Friday. Moreover, the company used cheating software to circumvent the USA testing process, and concealed material facts about its cheating from US regulators. Volkswagen, which remains under investigation in Germany, has reached settlements in the US with consumers, regulators, dealers, state attorneys general and federal prosecutors. Volkswagen at first denied the use of the so-called defeat device but finally admitted it in September 2015. Judge Cox denied a recent bail request from Mr. Schmidt, who remains imprisoned in MI until he faces trial early next year.


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