Volkswagen Pleads Guilty to Three Felonies in Emissions Scandal

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A company attorney will likely visit the US District Court in Detroit to formally sign the guilty pleas, according to Reuters.

The pleas related to charges of conspiracy to commit fraud, obstruction of justice, and entry of goods by false statement charges as stipulated in the settlement deal reached with the Dept. of Justice in January.

Volkswagen AG pleaded guilty to misleading USA regulators and customers by hiding emission levels on diesel vehicles and obstructing investigations when authorities grew suspicious.

The German automaker halted sales of diesel vehicles in late 2015 and has said it has no plans to resume sales of new US diesels. The auto maker's plea agreement includes a $2.8 billion criminal fine and resolves a longstanding Justice Department probe. Seven former and current executives at Volkswagen have also been charged with crimes associated with dieselgate.

Using illegal software, Volkswagen's TDI engines could manipulate emissions during controlled government testing to appear compliant with clean air laws.

. It is not yet clear whether Judge Sean Cox will pass sentence immediately.

After admitting to its malfeasance, Volkswagen promised a mixture of reforms and audits, which included independent oversight for three years.

The U.S Justice department in the court filing tagged VW's conduct as one of the biggest corporate fraud schemes in the history of the nation.

One aspect of the case that remains unresolved is the fate of VW executive Oliver Schmidt who United States authorities arrested in Miami in January, one of six company officials charged in the matter. As a part of the US emission settlement, the carmaker had agreed to spend close to $3 billion to offset excess emissions and also make around $2 billion investment in zero emission vehicle infrastructure as well as awareness programs over one decade.

German prosecutors are also investigating. The other five have stayed in Germany, where they are protected from extradition.