Volkswagen agreed to plead guilty Wednesday to three criminal felonies and civil violations and pay $4.3 billion in penalties and civil fines over its long-term scheme to use a device to cheat emissions tests on 590,000 diesel autos it sold in the U.S.
The settlement is in addition to the $14.7 billion settlement covering the 3.0 liter cars already on the road and related environmental harm. That settlement was announced in June 2016. That deal included $3 billion for environmental clean-up projects.
VW has agreed to plead guilty to participating in a conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and its own customers as well as violation of the Clean Air Act and lying to the EPA about VW, Audi and Porsche diesel autos’ ability to meet emissions standards, the U.S. Dept. of Justice announced.
In addition, six executives have been indicted in Michigan federal court for alleged roles in a 10-year conspiracy to hid the emissions defeating device. Three were charged with violations of the Clean Air Act and lying to regulators and others were charged with wire fraud.
The announcement was made Wednesday by Attorney General Loretta Lynch. On the criminal charges, VW will pay a $2.8 billion criminal fine as part of its guilty plea.
The civil violations included environmental, customs and financial claims. For the civil violations, the company’s settlement resolves a multidistrict case currently pending before U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco over the Audi, VW and Porsche autos.
Criminal plea agreement, Case: US v. VW, No. 16-cr-20394 (Michigan)
Civil Consent decree, Case: In re VW, No. MDL 2672, (California)