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Volkswagen agrees $4.3 billion penalties with Justice Dept, customs

Volkswagen agrees $4.3 billion penalties with Justice Dept, customs

The U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday it has handed down both criminal and civil penalties for Volkswagen to settle the investigation into the company's diesel emissions scandal.

The employees are being charged with conspiracy to defraud the US, defraud customers and violate the Clean Air Act.

According to the plea agreement, several supervisors in the Volkswagen-brand engine development department realized the company couldn't design a diesel engine to meet regulatory standards and attract US demand, so they directed employees to create a software function to detect, evade and defeat USA emissions standards as early as 2006. Prosecutors now have three witnesses giving them information and have arrested Oliver Schmidt, VW's former head of US environmental compliance who dealt with the EPA and California Air Resources Board after the scandal was uncovered.

In October, a federal judge signed off on a separate, $14.7 billion settlement between VW, consumers and the US government.

Schmidt had allegedly known of this illegal software since Volkswagen began using it in Audi vehicles in 2009.

VW looks set to pay $4.3 billion (4.1 billion euros) to settle a United States criminal case after admitting to fitting out 11 million diesel cars worldwide with software that reduces emissions under testing to pass controls, but then switches off under real driving conditions.

"For years, Volkswagen advertised its vehicles as complying with federal anti-pollution measures, calling them clean diesel", U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch told reporters.

Derrick Rose 'OK' After Vanishing Right Before Game Against Pelicans
He missed four games earlier in the season due to back spasms but has been relatively healthy outside of the back ailments. This season, Rose is averaging 17.3 points, 4.5 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game.

VW admitted in September 2015 to installing secret software in hundreds of thousands of USA diesel cars to cheat exhaust emissions tests and make them appear cleaner than they were on the road, and that as many as 11 million vehicles could have similar software installed worldwide.

All are believed to be in Germany except for Schmidt, who was arrested in Miami on Friday and appeared in federal court there on Monday.

"The most important news is that VW managed to come to an agreement that allows the company to move on from here".

The court filings detail a scheme in which the German automaker deceived regulators and customers for years, and dozens of employees destroyed documents, even after the scandal broke in September 2015.

VW warned in a financial disclosure the impact of the USA settlement on 2016 group results can not be quantified yet, citing "various further factors".

Although VW's communications with lawyers may be exempt, emails between employees and company executives should help prosecutors reach as far up VW's organizational chart as the scandal went, he said.

"We don't really see many multinationals decide at a very high level to knowingly" violate United States law, Yates said at the Washington press conference.


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