In Depth

Volkswagen fined €1bn in Germany as emissions scandal rumbles on

Payout marks end of criminal investigations in Europe but carmaker still faces claims from motorists

Volkswagen has agreed to pay a €1bn (£880m) fine in Germany over its involvement in the 2015 emissions cheating scandal. 

Public prosecutors in Brunswick concluded that the car giant  “failed to properly oversee its engine development department” by supplying cars with “impermissible software functions”, Auto Express reports. 

VW has admitted fitting around 11 million diesel vehicles with devices designed to circumvent emissions tests, the magazine reports.

In a statement released yesterday, the company said that it “accepted the fine and will not lodge an appeal”. VW “admits its responsibility for the diesel crisis and considers this as a further major step towards the latter being overcome”, the statement continued.

Last year the German carmaker reached a deal with US presecutors to pay $4.3bn (£3.2m) “to resolve criminal and civil penalties” over the cheating devices, says Reuters

VW set aside a total of €25.8bn (£22.6bn) to cover costs related to the emissions scandal.  

When will the scandal end?

VW’s agreement with German prosecutors is a significant step in the seemingly never-ending emissions cases. 

According to The Daily Telegraph, the deal is expected to mark the end of criminal investigations into VW in Europe.

However, the agreement will not reduce the “growing number” of claims against the company from motorists and shareholders, the newspaper adds.

There is also an ongoing legal case against the company’s former chief executive, Martin Winterkorn.

Winterkorn was indicated by US persecutors last month over claims that he was aware the company was employing emissions cheating devices “as early as 2014”, The Sunday Times says. 

Meanwhile, VW revealed last week that it plans to temporarily shut down its main facility in Wolfsburg, Germany, to prepare for the new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) emissions tests, which come into force on 1 September. 

VW’s development chief, Frank Welsch, told Autocar that the company needs “more people” and “more time” to modify its cars in order to meet the stricter requirements.

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