While there have been hundreds of articles saying how much pollution VW has caused with its cheating scandal for which it has now agreed to pay up to $25 billion in fines in the U.S. alone, with the Trump administration boosting investment in fossil fuel industries, pollution levels are set to reach new highs. Perhaps, it was never about pollution and protecting the environment.
Volkswagen AG will plead guilty to 3 counts of felony in the U.S. Justice Department’s diesel emissions investigation, with the automaker seeking to surge ahead and move past the scandal.
As part of a plea agreement with the Justice Department, VW will agree to sweeping new reforms, new oversight and audits by an independent monitor for the next 3 years.
As part of the settlement, the company has already agreed to change the way it operates in the U.S. and in other countries.
It isn’t clear if Judge Sean Cox will formally sentence VW today.
Additionally, the world’s largest auto manufacturer by sales, has also agreed to shell out $4.3 billion in U.S. civil and criminal fines.
The Justice Department termed VW’s cheating scandal as “one of the largest corporate fraud schemes in the history of the United States.”
VW has agreed to spend up to $25 billion in the United States to address claims from environmental regulators, vehicle owners, dealers and states.
Lawyers for the government and for VW have dismissed requests by lawyers of VW car owners to individual criminal cases.
The Justice Department has charged 7 current and former VW executives with crimes related to the diesel emission scandal. While one VW executive is in custody another is awaiting trial.
5 of the 7 are believed to be in Germany and have not been arraigned.
German prosecutors are also investigating the case on their own.
Hans Dieter Poetsch, VW’s chairman said the company will potentially take disciplinary action beyond the two dozen employees it has already suspended.