Volkswagen Fined $1.2 Billion for Cheating Diesel Emissions

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German authorities fined Volkswagen 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) Wednesday for cheating diesel emissions.

Prosecutors found that, because of Volkswagen's deceptive actions, 10.7 million vehicles "with an impermissible software function" were sold to customers around the world, Volkswagen said in a statement.

The fine follows a plea agreement in the United States reached in 2017, in which Volkswagen agreed to pay $4.3 billion in civil and criminal penalties for installing illegal software in diesel engines to cheat anti-pollution tests.

In 2015, word got out that millions of Volkswagen vehicles had been equipped with software to cheat on emissions tests. The news provided at least a partial explanation for why pollution levels across Europe didn’t drop as much as expected after emissions regulations were put in place in the 1990s.

Volkswagen has repeatedly apologized for the scandal, and former Volkswagen Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn has been charged with felony counts of conspiracy, wire fraud, and other violations in the U.S.

This story, by Ashley Hackett, first appeared on

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