VW reaches $4.3 billion US settlement over emissions scandal

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Volkswagen has agreed a settlement with the US Government to pay $4.3 billion (£3.5 billion) in fines and penalties relating to its part in the Emissions Scandal.

The group has confirmed that it will plead guilty to criminal misconduct under US law. The terms agreed with the US Department of Justice (DoJ) say that $2.8 billion (£2.28 billion) will be used to pay a fine, and the appointment of an independent monitor for three years. The monitor will oversee the company’s compliance with the terms of the agreement.

A further $1.45 billion (£1.2 billion) will pay for a combined penalty to resolve US federal environmental and customs-related civil claims. Separately, Volkswagen has agreed to pay $50 million (£41 million) to the civil division of the DoJ to settle potential claims under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act. Volkswagen denies any liability and disputes these claims but is settling to avoid expensive, uncertain, and protracted litigation.

The settlements will resolve Volkswagen’s liability under US law, but will not cover any cases brought against the company in any other countries or unions. Volkswagen states that it continues to cooperate with prosecutors offices in Germany.

The deal will need to be approved by a US judge to go through, and it has attempted to move quickly to reach an agreement before the pending change of administration, which could have delayed a settlement for months.

Matthias Müller, Chief Executive of Volkswagen Group, said: “Volkswagen deeply regrets the behaviour that gave rise to the diesel crisis. Since all of this came to light, we have worked tirelessly to make things right for our affected customers and have already achieved some progress on this path.

“The agreements that we have reached with the U.S. government reflect our determination to address misconduct that went against all of the values Volkswagen holds so dear. They are an important step forward for our company and all our employees.”

Hans Dieter Pötsch, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen Group, said: “When the diesel matter became public, we promised that we would get to the bottom of it and find out how it happened – comprehensively and objectively. In addition, a task force of our Group Audit function conducted an investigation into relevant processes, reporting and monitoring systems as soon as the issue came to light. We are no longer the same company we were 16 months ago. The Supervisory Board and the Management Board have faced up to past actions.”