In September 2015, the Volkswagen emissions scandal came to light. The automobile company admitted that it had installed secret software dubbed “defeat devices” in 475,000 2.0-litre cars in the U.S. This software was in order to cheat the exhaust emissions tests so that it can make the cars appear cleaner in the test than they really are. These vehicles emitted almost 40 times more than the pollution levels allowed on a legal scale. Later on, the German company admitted that it had installed this software in 3.0-litre vehicles as well. Around 80,000 3.0-litre vehicles in the U.S. consisted of an undeclared auxiliary emissions system which let the vehicles emit up to nine times the allowed limit of pollution. It seems that after a long wait, this emissions scandal might be resolved.
The U.S. Justice Department and Volkswagen might be nearing an agreement to resolve this scandal. The government’s criminal and civil investigations might ask the automobile manufacturer to pay a penalty of more than $3 billion. This news has been let out by the sources present during this talk on Friday. The agreement is not yet final and has scope for change. But the final agreement will be announced next week at the earliest. A spokesperson of Volkswagen declined these reports and said that the company is still in discussion with the authorities.
Volkswagen emissions scandal is a pricey affair
Apart from the U.S. Justice Department, the Volkswagen emissions scandal will have to face an oversight by an outside monitor. It might also agree to other such essential reforms in relation to this scandal which will be a part of a prosecution agreement. In context with this scandal, Volkswagen had already agreed to pay $1.75 billion to resolve such claims made by the owners, dealers, federal and state regulators of the U.S.
The U.S. Justice Department and Volkswagen carried out intensive talks about this issue in this week to resolve this case before Barack Obama leaves the presidential office on 20th January. Sources stated that if there is no final agreement before this, then there will be a significant delay in resolving the scandal.
Volkswagen is currently facing lawsuits from at least 19 states of the U.S. Adding to this, a judge recently declared that it will face investor lawsuits in a California court. The Volkswagen emissions scandal was a major drawback for the business and reputation of the country on a global scale. It also led to the termination of its Chief Executive Officer, Martin Winterkorn. It is also not allowed to sell any new diesel vehicles in the U.S. since the scandal of 2015.
F.B.I arrest executive for conspiracy charges
According to the news released on Sunday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I) conducted an arrest of a Volkswagen executive. He was facing charges of carrying out a conspiracy to defraud the U.S. which led to this arrest. This step is a part of the criminal investigation regarding the Volkswagen emissions scandal. Oliver Schmidt led the company regulatory compliance office in the U.S. He was arrested on Saturday by the investigators in Florida. Schmidt represented Volkswagen even after the company admitted the emissions scandal in September. He also played a major role in convincing regulators that the excess emission took place due to technical problems instead of deliberate cheating.