U.S. District Judge Sean Cox today accepted a $4.3 billion plea agreement reached in January between the automaker and the federal government that includes the fine. "It's always the little guy".
A federal judge on Friday ordered Volkswagen to pay $2.8 billion in criminal penalties after the automaker admitted last month to illegally calibrating diesel engines so they could get around US pollution rules.
The company also released a subsequent statement announcing the appointment of Larry D. Thomson as Independent Compliance Monitor under the terms of its settlements with the US government.
In January, Volkswagen also agreed to pay $1.5 billion to the United States to settle its civil environmental, customs, and financial violations.
Cox had wanted more time to consider the plea deal and fine negotiated by VW and the U.S. Justice Department.
In total, VW has agreed to spend up to $25 billion in the United States to address claims from owners, environmental regulators, states and dealers and to make buy-back offers.The U.S. Justice Department has also charged seven current and former VW executives with crimes related to the scandal.
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A half-dozen other Volkswagen employees were also indicted in the company's emissions fraud, though majority reside in Germany and are unlikely to appear in the U.S.to face charges.
"This is a deliberate and massive fraud perpetrated on the American consumer, and it would seem, consumers throughout the world", he said.
VW general counsel Manfred Doess said the company is not the same one that was caught 18 months ago.
In a statement after the ruling, Volkswagen said it "deeply regrets the behavior that gave rise to the diesel matter".
Volkswagen also has agreed to civil settlements worth about $17 billion for US consumers and dealers who own the automaker's diesel vehicles. "Plain and simple it was wrong", Doess said. Moreover, the company used cheating software to circumvent the USA testing process, and concealed material facts about its cheating from US regulators.
"The agreements that we have reached with the USA government reflect our determination to address misconduct that went against all of the values Volkswagen holds so dear", the statement said, in part.