The German automaker company Volkswagen has plead guilty in the emission scandal and have agreed pay $5.7 billion in settlements, six high-level officials of the company in Germany have also been charged in the cheating scandal.
This settlement is the largest fine ever collected from an automaker by the government of United States.
According to the United States Justice Department prosecutors they have details of the elaborate scheme of Volkswagen to cover up the fraud after committing it. They also said that at least 40 employees allegedly destroyed evidence.
More than 600,000 Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche vehicles were fitted with software in their engines by Volkswagen in United States, during the government tests the company activated the pollution control while in real-world driving it was switched off.
It enabled the cars to be allowed on the roads despite emitting nitrogen oxide at a rate which was 40 times above the legal limit.
The difference between real-world driving and testing was exposed by university researchers making the US regulators inquire Volkswagen about the software. After denying the allegations initially Volkswagen finally admitted the fraud in September of 2015.
Volkswagen has plead guilty to conspiracy, importing vehicles through false statements and obstruction of justice.
The six officials were accused of lying to environmental regulators and obstruction of justice by destroying evidence. They were indicted by a grand jury in Detroit. All six of the officials are German citizens, only one of them
Oliver Schmidt, was in United States at the time and has been arrested while the remaining five officials are in Germany and are not in custody.
Two of the officials who are indicted were former head of quality management and product safety and the former chief of Volkswagen engine development, while Schmidt was in charge of Volkswagen’s compliance with the environmental regulators of United States.
Prior to this fine the largest ever fine levied against any company by United States was $1.2 billion, it was against Toyota for unintended accelerations in their cars.