Volkswagen’s Tentative $4.3 Billion Deal With U.S. Includes Guilty Plea on Emissions

Volkswagen’s Tentative $4.3 Billion Deal With U.S. Includes Guilty Plea on Emissions

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An intensive investigation into Volkswagen’s manipulation of diesel emissions tests began more than a year ago, and involves American and German investigators and prosecutors.

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Kieran Kesner for The New York Times

Volkswagen has reached a deal with the United States government to pay $4.3 billion to resolve a federal criminal investigation into its cheating on emissions tests, the company said on Tuesday.

As part of the settlement with federal officials, the company will plead guilty to criminal charges.

The deal is not yet official, as the company’s management board must still approve it. The vote could come on Tuesday or Wednesday. The $4.3 billion total includes both criminal and civil fines, and the civil part of the fines include environmental and customs-related penalties.

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How Volkswagen Has Grappled With Its Diesel Scandal

Volkswagen has admitted that 11 million of its vehicles were equipped with software that was used to cheat on emissions tests. The company is now contending with the fallout.



OPEN Graphic


The details were provided by the company in a financial disclosure.

Volkswagen is expected to plead guilty to charges including wire fraud, violating the Clean Air Act and customs fraud, said two people briefed on the settlement. The people could not talk publicly about the deal because it is not yet final.

An intensive investigation into the manipulation of diesel emissions tests began more than a year ago, and it involves American and German investigators and prosecutors. A resolution of the criminal investigation in the United States would allow Volkswagen to try to move past a scandal that has hobbled its business.

The criminal case against Volkswagen, and the expected guilty plea, have set it apart from other recent auto industry investigations. In settlements with General Motors and Toyota over their handling of safety defects, for example, the companies agreed to pay large fines but did not plead guilty.

Prosecutors are also mulling criminal charges against Takata, the Japanese manufacturer under criminal investigation for its defective airbags.

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