The lingering emissions-cheating scandal that has plagued VW for nearly three years has resulted in a guilty plea from the manufacturer and a fine of $4.3 billion in criminal and civil charges.

VW has pleaded guilty in its emissions scandal.
VW has pleaded guilty in its emissions scandal.

New U.S. charges of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and using false statements to import cars to the U.S. were also announced against five former Volkswagen employees in Germany.

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In 2014, as U.S. suspicions increased about the real level of emissions from VW diesel cars, engineers and supervisors plotted ways to hide the defeat device, according to court documents.

The next year, when regulators threatened not to certify 2016 models for sale in the U.S., Volkswagen’s senior officials in Wolfsburg, Germany, were told at a July 27 meeting about the deception.

Separately, Volkswagen agreed to pay a civil penalty of $50 million to the Civil Division of the DOJ to settle potential claims asserted under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act.

Senior VW managers approved a plan in August 2015 for what the automaker’s employees would say in an upcoming meeting with California regulators, prosecutors allege. That plan called for Volkswagen employees to continue concealing the existence of the emissions device.

“The agreements that we have reached with the U.S. government reflect our determination to address misconduct that went against all of the values Volkswagen holds so dear,” VW CEO Matthias Mueller said in an email.

“The investigation is still open and it is ongoing,” said Attorney General Loretta Lynch during the press conference. “Volkswagen knew of these problems and when regulators expressed concern Volkswagen obfuscated, they denied, and they ultimately lied.”

The court filings detail a scheme in which the German automaker deceived regulators and customers for years, and dozens of employees destroyed documents, even after the scandal broke in September 2015.

Volkswagen admitted in 2015 about 11 million diesel cars worldwide were outfitted with so-called defeat devices, embedded algorithms used to game emissions tests. The settlement pushes the cost of the scandal to more than $23 billion in the U.S. and Canada and will force the company to increase the money set aside to pay fines and compensate affected customers, which currently totals 18.2 billion euros ($19.1 billion).

A San Francisco judge has approved $14.7 billion settlement that requires Volkswagen to fix or buy back about 480,000 of the cars in the U.S. with 2.0-liter engines cars. The manufacturer is awaiting approval on a $1 billion deal concerning 3.0-liter engines.

In 2014, as U.S. suspicions increased about the real level of emissions from VW diesel cars, engineers and supervisors plotted ways to hide the defeat device, according to court documents.

The next year, when regulators threatened not to certify 2016 models for sale in the U.S., Volkswagen’s senior officials in Wolfsburg, Germany, were told at a July 27 meeting about the deception.

Separately, Volkswagen agreed to pay a civil penalty of $50 million to the Civil Division of the DOJ to settle potential claims asserted under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act.

Senior VW managers approved a plan in August 2015 for what the automaker’s employees would say in an upcoming meeting with California regulators, prosecutors allege. That plan called for Volkswagen employees to continue concealing the existence of the emissions device.

“The agreements that we have reached with the U.S. government reflect our determination to address misconduct that went against all of the values Volkswagen holds so dear,” VW CEO Matthias Mueller said in an email.

“The investigation is still open and it is ongoing,” said Attorney General Loretta Lynch during the press conference. “Volkswagen knew of these problems and when regulators expressed concern Volkswagen obfuscated, they denied, and they ultimately lied.”

The court filings detail a scheme in which the German automaker deceived regulators and customers for years, and dozens of employees destroyed documents, even after the scandal broke in September 2015.

Volkswagen admitted in 2015 about 11 million diesel cars worldwide were outfitted with so-called defeat devices, embedded algorithms used to game emissions tests. The settlement pushes the cost of the scandal to more than $23 billion in the U.S. and Canada and will force the company to increase the money set aside to pay fines and compensate affected customers, which currently totals 18.2 billion euros ($19.1 billion).

A San Francisco judge has approved $14.7 billion settlement that requires Volkswagen to fix or buy back about 480,000 of the cars in the U.S. with 2.0-liter engines cars. The manufacturer is awaiting approval on a $1 billion deal concerning 3.0-liter engines.

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