Volkswagen to Pay $2.8 Billion in US Diesel Emissions Scandal

VW faces sentencing in emissions scandal

U.S. District Judge Sean Cox today accepted a $4.3 billion plea agreement reached in January between the automaker and the federal government that includes the fine. "As always it's the little guy", the judge said, referring to vehicle buyers and VW's blue-collar workers who might earn less in the future.

A federal prosecutor on Friday confirmed that the government plans to name former deputy US attorney general Larry Thompson to serve as independent monitor of Volkswagen AG under a plea agreement over its diesel emissions scandal.

The company also released a subsequent statement announcing the appointment of Larry D. Thomson as Independent Compliance Monitor under the terms of its settlements with the USA government.

Cox said the $2.8 billion criminal penalty is large enough, even though Volkwagen's offenses, spanning a decade, were done on objective.

Including a separate $1.5 billion civil penalty, Volkswagen agreed to pay a total of $4.3 billion to settle the U.S. Justice Department probe.

Seven employees have also been charged in relation to the scandal. The judge wanted more time to consider the plea deal and fine negotiated by VW and the U.S. Justice Department.

Cox urged the German government to "prosecute those responsible for this deliberate massive fraud that has damaged an iconic automobile company".

"Volkswagen deeply regrets the behavior that gave rise to this case".

VW general counsel Manfred Doess said the company is not the same one that was caught 18 months ago. The September 2015 disclosure that VW intentionally cheated on emissions tests for at least six years led to the ouster of its chief executive, damaged the company's reputation around the world and resulted in massive fines and pay-outs. "Plain and simple, it was wrong", he said.

Volkswagen also has agreed to civil settlements worth about $17 billion for USA consumers and dealers who own the automaker's diesel vehicles. "We let people down and for that we are deeply sorry", Doess said.

"We have taken significant steps to strengthen accountability, enhance transparency and build a better company and we look forward to working closely with Mr. Thompson as we press forward with the biggest change process in Volkswagen's history", said Ms. Hiltrud Werner, Board Member of Integrity and Legal Affairs at Volkswagen AG.

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