VW set to pay $4.3bn in US fines


11 Jan, 2017

VW set to pay $4.3bn in US fines

Volkswagen has agreed on a draft to pay $4.3bn (£3.5bn) to US regulators, meaning that their emissions scandal has now likely exceeded the $19.2bn originally set aside to cover the costs.

The German automaker had already agreed to pay $15bn to US environmental bodies and car owners in America under which it also agreed to purchase back up to 500,000 vehicles.

The latest fine of $4.3bn was reached upon by the with the US Department of Justice and US Customs and Border Protection. It also means that VW will plead guilty to criminal misconduct in their dealings with emissions tests.

The agreement still needs to meet the approval of VW boards and US courts. If reached, then the deal would also see an independent monitor appointed to oversee compliance and control at the company for three years.

The scandal all started in September of 2015 when when the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that many VW cars sold in America had inbuilt software that could cheat its way past emissions tests. The device could detect when a test was being carried out and would adjust the performance accordingly to improve results.

On Monday, it was revealed that VW knew about emissions cheating two months before the story broke. One of the bosses involved included Oliver Schmidt. Mr Schmidt was in charge of VW's US environmental regulatory compliance office from 2012 until March 2015.

Earlier this week, Mr Schmidt was charged with conspiracy to defraud and has been remanded ahead of a court appearance on Thursday.

The latest fine adds to the woes of VW who had no doubt hoped to put the last couple of years behind them. The company is involved in lawsuits in several countries, including the UK.

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