VW Tagged With $1B Fine in Germany for Diesel Scandal

Penalty doesn't prevent civil lawsuits against maker.

by on Jun.13, 2018

VW's new CEO Herbert Diess recently noted the company would have to work hard to regain the public's trust.

Volkswagen AG’s diesel cheating scandal has resulted in the automaker writing another large check, $1 billion, for violating German emissions controls mandates.

The fine is just the latest in a litany of payouts related to the automaker’s attempts to circumvent emissions rules in the U.S. and other countries.

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The $1 billion fine by German authorities is one of the largest in the country’s history. However, its significantly less than what it agreed to in a U.S. plea agreement in January 2017 when VW agreed to pay $4.3 billion in criminal and civil penalties for installing illegal software in diesel engines. 

“Following thorough examination, Volkswagen AG accepted the fine and it will not lodge an appeal against it,” the company said in a statement. “Volkswagen AG, by doing so, admits its responsibility for the diesel crisis and considers this as a further major step toward the latter being overcome.”

(Bosch says it has secret to cleaning diesel emissions. Click Here for the story.)

VW plans to have two dozen fully electric vehicles, like this I.D. Crozz concept, in production by 2025 as it dumps diesels altogether.

The current German fine was ordered by the prosecutor’s office in Braunschweig after it determined lax supervision allowed “impermissible software functions” to be installed in 10.7 million cars produced between 2007 and 2015.

“The Prosecutor’s Office in Braunschweig ascertained a violation of supervisory duties,” the prosecutor’s office said in a statement, adding that the $1 billion doesn’t exempt the company from civil claims or lawsuits.

(Click Here to see why Daimler remains committed to diesel use.)

Analysts at Evercore ISI said this fine would likely help end all criminal investigations against VW in Europe, but would not settle shareholder lawsuits, according to Reuters. It also noted that the new fine was not accounted for in the $40 billion that VW set aside to resolve the matter.

Volkswagen told Reuters it held a board meeting to discuss the crisis with members of the supervisory board also being informed. VW’s newly appointed Chief Executive Officer Herbert Diess said the company will need to take more action to regain the trust of the public in the wake of the scandal.

(To see more about the German court ruling allowing a ban on diesel engines, Click Here.)

Prosecutors in Munich widened an emissions cheating probe into Volkswagen’s luxury carmaker Audi on Monday to include the brand’s Chief Executive Rupert Stadler among the suspects accused of fraud and false advertising, Reuters reported.

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