Six executives have been indicted in connection with the case.
In the long and tumultuous road following the first reports of Dieselgate, the battle between VW and the United States Department of Justice has finally come to a conclusion. The German automaker has plead guilty to three criminal felony counts – conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and using false statements to import cars to the U.S. – and has agreed to pay $4.3 billion dollars in penalties.
A total of $2.8 billion worth of that sum will be enacted towards criminal penalties following more than 590,000 diesel vehicles sold in the U.S. with defeat devices. The other $1.5 billion will be paid to the EPA for civil penalties against VW in connection with the importation and sale of the cars in question. The total costs associated with the emissions cheating could exceed the $19.2 billion the company set aside earlier in the year.
"Americans expect corporations to operate honestly and provide accurate information," said Deputy Director McCabe. "Volkswagen’s data deception defrauded the U.S. government, violated the Clean Air Act and eroded consumer trust. This case sends a clear message to corporations, no matter how big or small, that if you lie and disregard rules that protect consumers and the environment, you will be caught and held accountable."
Along with the agreed cash settlement, five U.S. VW executives have been charged. Heinz-Jakob Neusser, Jens Hadler, Richard Dorenkamp, Bernd Gottweis, and Juergen Peter were named, following the arrest of Oliver Schmidt over the weekend.
VW will be on probation for three years following the settlement, and the company will be overseen by an independent monitor during that three-month period. The monitor will assess the company’s compliance with the terms of the resolution, and assist in implementation of an advanced ethics program.