Volkswagen pleads guilty in criminal emission-cheating case

Mar 11, 2017, 00:29
Volkswagen pleads guilty in criminal emission-cheating case

"Your honor, VW AG is pleading guilty to all three counts because it is guilty on all three counts", Doess told the court, as reported by Reuters.

Wolfsburg-based Volkswagen on Friday admitted to conspiracy and obstruction of justice in a scheme to get around U.S. pollution rules.

Volkswagen on Friday pled guilty to three felony counts stemming from the diesel emissions scandal uncovered by federal regulators in 2015.

As many as 11 million vehicles sold worldwide were configured to cheat emissions tests.

Under the plea agreement VW agreed to widespread reforms and new independent checks by an independent monitor. It is not known whether it will be formally sentenced today.

Back in 2015-going on a year-and-a-half now, believe or not-Volkswagen was busted for installing a so-called defeat device in its diesel-powered vehicles, which kept emissions artificially low during EPA testing to make the cars appear compliant with clean air regulations.

Mr. Neal added that the government could have fined Volkswagen up to $34 billion, but assessed a lower figure given the auto maker's cooperation with the investigation, previous large civil settlements and efforts to compensate consumers affected by its deception.

VW entered the formal plea in Detroit federal court Friday as it agreed to do two months ago as part of a $4.3 billion deal to settle claims over the emissions scandal.

An engineer who pleaded guilty to criminal conduct for helping Volkswagen cheat on emissions tests, James Liang, is scheduled to be sentenced in May. One executive is in custody and awaiting trial and another pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate. The other five have stayed in Germany, where they are protected from extradition. The automaker resolved those cases before the criminal settlement and it directed the law firm investigating the matter to share findings with the government "essentially in real time", allowing for swift prosecution of individual employees, he said.

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