Judge Orders VW to Pay $2.8b in Emission Scandal

21 April 2017

A U.S. District Court judge on April 21 ordered Volkswagen to pay a $2.8 billion criminal penalty for cheating on diesel emissions tests.

VW pleaded guilty in March to conspiracy and obstruction of justice in a scheme involving nearly 600,000 diesel cars in the U.S. The cars were programmed to turn on pollution controls during testing and off while on the road.

(Read "VW Pleads Guilty in Emission Scandal.")

"It was an intentional effort on the part of a major corporation to evade U.S. law and lie to U.S. regulators," Assistant U.S. Attorney John Neal told the judge.

Separately, VW is paying $1.5 billion in a civil case, mostly to settle allegations brought by U.S. environmental regulators, and spending $11 billion to buy back cars and offer other compensation.

Seven employees have also been charged with crimes in the U.S., but five are in Germany and are unlikely to be extradited.

In brief remarks to the judge, VW defense attorney Jason Weinstein says the criminal fine is an "appropriate and serious sanction."

(Read "VW Scandal: When Good Engineers Do the Wrong Thing.")

A former Justice Department official, Larry Thompson, will serve as a monitor to ensure that VW complies with the plea agreement, which includes three years of probation and complete future cooperation with any inquiries by investigators.

U.S. regulators confronted VW about the cheating software after West Virginia University researchers discovered differences in testing and real-world emissions of harmful nitrogen oxide. VW eventually admitted that the cars were programmed to turn pollution controls on during testing and off while on the road.

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Discussion – 3 comments

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Re: Judge Orders VW to Pay $2.8b in Emission Scandal
2017-Apr-22 9:33 AM

Not just a Bug in the software.

Re: Judge Orders VW to Pay $2.8b in Emission Scandal
2017-Apr-22 8:28 PM


Re: Judge Orders VW to Pay $2.8b in Emission Scandal
2017-Apr-23 12:02 PM

VW did not loose much at all, the motorist will pay the fine in price hikes on new vehicle sales, so in essence it really cost VW nothing in the long term.

A bit like Henry Ford providing a pay hike to his staff to buy Fords to ensure he stays in business, increasing productivity and sales. Smoke and mirrors really.

As a by line, who gets the money and what is done with the money from the fine? Another magic trick, or does it get put to good use for wars, lining pockets, feeding the homeless, paying off Americas debt etc., as that is a lot of money to hand over at some point. ($1500 000 000 US or $1500 000 000 000 UK). That is a lot of Volksies to sell.

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