► Volkswagen agrees settlement in US
► Confirmed fine of $4.3bn (£3.5bn)
► Total cost of Dieselgate spirals past $20bn
Volkswagen has agreed to pay a $4.3 billion (£3.5bn) fine in the US in a draft settlement with the American authorities over the Dieselgate emissions scandal.
And it will plead guilty to breaking US laws in a move aimed to close off the legal action in the States before the Trump administration change.
The VW statement
In a statement issued overnight Wolfsburg confirmed reports that it had agreed the huge fine with the Department of Justice.
‘Volkswagen AG confirms market rumours that the company negotiated a concrete draft of a settlement agreement with the aforementioned US authorities which contains criminal and civil fines with a total amount of $4.3bn as well as measures to further strengthen the compliance and control systems including the appointment of an independent monitor for the next three years.
‘Further, part of the settlement agreement is a guilty plea regarding certain US criminal law provisions and a statement of facts on the basis of which the fines have to be made.’
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It’s all linked to the September 2015 revelations that the world’s biggest car maker had doctored emissions test results with ‘defeat device’ software which could tell if a car was in a lab test mode and deliberately cycle to cleaner-than-normal emissions to pass local air quality tests.
Click here for a full guide to the Dieselgate emissions crisis
The total cost of Dieselgate
The latest US fines mean that the total cost to Volkswagen is likely to spiral past $20bn. It had set aside $19bn to deal with the fall-out from the emissions rigging scandal.
Such huge figures show how serious the Dieselgate scandal has become. VW has already agreed a $15bn compensation settlement with environmental authorities and owners.
And now there are calls for owners elsewhere in the world, including the UK, to seek compensation. A call resisted by new CEO Mathias Mueller (below), who's trying to reinvent the company as a digital-first, EV pioneer in the wake of the crisis.
It seems a line can’t be drawn under this sorry tale quite yet…