WASHINGTON, Jan 11 — US Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy today will unveil a US$4.3 billion (RM19.2 billion) settlement with Volkswagen AG to resolve the government’s civil and criminal investigations into the German automaker’s diesel emissions cheating.
The world’s second largest automaker confirmed Tuesday it has negotiated a US$4.3-billion concrete draft settlement with US regulators to resolve its diesel emissions issues and plans to plead guilty to criminal misconduct as part of the civil and criminal settlement.
The settlement doesn’t impact the government’s ongoing investigation into individual misconduct by current and former VW employees.
Volkswagen had previously agreed to spend up to US$17.5 billion in the United States to resolve claims by US regulators, owners and dealers and offered to buy back nearly 500,000 polluting vehicles. The automaker was in intensive talks with regulators in recent weeks in an effort to reach a deal before the end of the Obama administration.
Without a deal by next week, a final resolution could have been delayed by months until the Trump EPA and Justice Department teams are in place.
VW admitted in September 2015 to installing secret software in hundreds of thousands of US diesel cars to cheat exhaust emissions tests and make them appear cleaner than they were on the road, and that as many as 11 million vehicles could have similar software installed worldwide.
On Monday, a VW executive, the second VW employee charged by US prosecutors, was accused of conspiracy to defraud the United States over the company’s emissions cheating and the automaker was charged with concealing the cheating from regulators.
Much of the company’s senior management departed following the scandal, including chief executive Martin Winterkorn. — Reuters