Volkswagen has agreed to plead guilty to three criminal felony counts and pay a $2.8 billion criminal penalty as a result of the company’s long-running scheme to sell about 590,000 diesel vehicles in the United States by using a defeat device to cheat on emissions tests and lying to further the scheme, the U.S. Justice Department said Wednesday.
In separate civil resolutions of environmental, customs, and financial claims, VW has agreed to pay $1.5 billion. This includes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s claim for civil penalties against VW in connection with VW’s importation and sale of these cars, as well as U.S. Customs and Border Protection claims for customs fraud. In addition, the EPA agreement requires overview to prevent future violations.
The criminal case
VW has agreed to plead guilty to taking part in a conspiracy to defraud the United States and VW’s U.S. customers and to violating the Clean Air Act by lying about whether some VW, Audi, and Porsche diesel vehicles complied with U.S. emissions standards.