Six high-level officials of the German car giant, Volkswagen has admitted cheating emissions tests in the US. The employees. have been accused by a grand jury, the company admitting the wrongdoing, agreeing to pay an amount of $4.3 billion as penalty. At least 40 VW employees were involved in destroying evidence, the government said.
VW installed a software into diesel engines on nearly 600,000 vehicles in the U.S. that allowed the engines to turn on pollution controls during government tests and switch them off in real-world driving. The software, is called "defeat device" because it defeated the emissions controls, improved engine performance but disgorged out harmful nitrogen oxide at up to 40 times above the legal limit, in September found the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The German company admitted being guilty to conspiracy, obstruction of justice and importing vehicles by using false statements in a plea deal. It also requires VW to cooperate in a continuing probe that could lead to the arrest of more employees.
Volkswagen obfuscated, they denied and they ultimately liedLoretta Lynch, Attorney General, at a press conference
According to the plea agreement, the supervisors and other employees agreed to deceive the EPA and other regulators about diesel emissions starting in May 2006, when they realised that the engines wouldn't meet emissions standards that were going into effect in 2007.
VolksWagen has agreed to the appointment of an independent monitor to oversee compliance and control measures for three years.
The penalty against the company is the largest ever levied by the government against an automaker, eclipsing the $1.2 billion fine against Toyota in 2014 over safety issues related to unintended acceleration.
Volkswagen previously reached a $15 billion civil settlement with environmental authorities and car owners in the U.S. under which it agreed to buy back up to 500,000 vehicles. The company also faces an investor lawsuit and criminal probe in Germany. In all, some 11 million vehicles worldwide were equipped with the software.