Facing charges, Volkswagen agrees to pay $4.3 billion in emissions cheating scandal

Volkswagen has pleaded guilty to three criminal charges in the United States relating to the scandal and will pay a 4.3 billion U.S. dollar (£3.5 billion) penalty.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch said during a press conference Wednesday that the "investigation is still open and it is ongoing".

Volkswagen will plead guilty to participating in a conspiracy to defraud the United States and the automaker's US customers by using software to cheat on emissions tests, according to a press release. The German auto maker has agreed to pay a $1.5 billion civil fine and a $2.8 billion criminal fine. Volkswagen will also spend three years on probation and an independent monitor will be sent in to "oversee its ethics and compliance program".

Volkswagen admitted in September 2015 that it had concealed software in vehicles to make them seem cleaner than they were in emissions tests, with some of the cars emitting many multiples of the legal pollution levels. The company recently agreed to separate civil settlements worth about $17 billion for USA consumers and dealers who own diesel vehicles affected by the scandal, authorizing buybacks and free fixes.

According to the latest reports, Volkswagen AG has settled to pay $4.3 billion to U.S. authorities over the emissions cheating scandal.

The US justice department settlement with VW will not end the investigation into individual misconduct and more executives may face charges, sources said.

Six current or former executives have been indicted for their involvement in the scandal, in which emission cheating devices were fitted on Volkswagen vehicles.

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Volkswagen previously reached a $15 billion (R206 billion) civil settlement with U.S. environmental authorities and auto owners under which it agreed to fix or buy back as many as 500 000 of the affected vehicles.

On Monday he was accused of conspiracy to defraud the United States and charged with concealing the cheating from regulators.

The indictment also charges Dorenkamp, Neusser, Schmidt and Peter with Clean Air Act violations.

VW chief executive Matthias Mueller said the company "deeply regrets" its conduct over the course of the emissions scandal.

However, VW told the government and customers the software update was meant to improve the vehicles even though engineers knew the update was used to quickly deactivate emission control systems when the vehicle was not undergoing emissions tests. He is said to have labelled omissions in test results as technical faults, rather than admitting they were caused by emissions cheat software.

Volkswagen's admission in September 2015 that it had used defeat devices in the U.S. became a worldwide scandal with 11 million vehicles affected globally.

"We will continue to examine Volkswagen's attempts to mislead consumers and deceive the government".