The Justice Department announced Wednesday that Volkswagen will plead guilty and pay $4.3 billion in civil and criminal penalties to resolve investigations into the German automaker's long-running violations of emissions standards and that six high-level company officials were indicted for their roles in the scheme.
Loretta Lynch said: "Volkswagen obfuscated, they denied and they ultimately lied". The software allowed the cars to spew harmful nitrogen oxide at up to 40 times above the legal limit. On Monday, a VW executive, Oliver Schmidt, was charged with conspiracy to defraud the US over the emissions cheating and the automaker was accused of concealing the cheating from regulators.
According to reports from Digital Trends, the company will pay $2.8 billion for the criminal penalty, as well as $1.5 billion in civil penalties for environmental, customs, and financial claims. The auto company also agreed to work with an independent corporate compliance monitor for at least three years. The company chose to use them so the vehicles could pass stricter USA emissions laws.
Volkswagen has agreed to pay a $4.3 billion (£3.5bn) fine in the U.S. in a draft settlement with the American authorities over the Dieselgate emissions scandal.
Volkswagen has admitted to installing software in diesel vehicles that cheated on emissions tests, then lying about it to regulators.
In addition, USA prosecutors have indicted six Volkswagen executives for their roles in the emissions fraud.
In addition to the $4.3 billion in penalties, six Volkswagen executives have been indicted by a federal grand jury, but five of those people are believed to be in Germany.
Oliver Schmidt, who ran VW's United States regulatory compliance office from 2012 to March 2015, is accused of lying to U.S. regulators.
The indictment also charges Dorenkamp, Neusser, Schmidt and Peter with Clean Air Act violations.
"The agreements that we have reached with the United States government reflect our determination to address misconduct that went against all of the values Volkswagen holds so dear".
The government discovered Volkswagen diesel emissions were much higher in vehicles on the road than those tested by the Environmental Protection Agency.
It was in September previous year that the chief executive officer of Volkswagen, Martin Winterkorn has already resigned and are being investigated for their involvement in securities laws.
Under the direction of executives, Volkswagen employees designed engines with "defeat device" software that would reduce emissions only when the vehicle was undergoing a standard U.S. emissions test.