Volkswagen agrees to $4.3 billion U.S. diesel settlement -sources

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By David Shepardson and Andreas Cremer

<span class="articleLocation”>Volkswagen AG has agreed to a $4.3
billion settlement to resolve the U.S. government’s civil and
criminal investigations into the German automaker’s diesel
emissions cheating, two sources briefed on the matter said
Wednesday.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Environmental
Protection Agency chief Gina McCarthy will announce the
settlement in Washington on Wednesday at a news conference, the
government said in a statement.

Reuters has learned that prosecutors may charge additional
individuals with criminal conduct as early as today, the sources
said.

On Monday, a VW executive, the second VW employee charged by
U.S. prosecutors, was accused of conspiracy to defraud the
United States over the company’s emissions cheating and the
automaker was charged with concealing the cheating from
regulators.

The world’s second largest automaker confirmed Tuesday it
has negotiated a $4.3-billion concrete draft settlement with
U.S. regulators to resolve its diesel emissions issues and plans
to plead guilty to criminal misconduct as part of the civil and
criminal settlement.

The settlement doesn’t impact the government’s ongoing
investigation into individual misconduct by current and former
VW employees.

Volkswagen had previously agreed to spend up to $17.5
billion in the United States to resolve claims by U.S.
regulators, owners and dealers and offered to buy back nearly
500,000 polluting vehicles. The automaker was in intensive talks
with regulators in recent weeks in an effort to reach a deal
before the end of the Obama administration.

Without a deal by next week, a final resolution could have
been delayed by months until the Trump EPA and Justice
Department teams are in place.

VW admitted in September 2015 to installing secret software
in hundreds of thousands of U.S. diesel cars to cheat exhaust
emissions tests and make them appear cleaner than they were on
the road, and that as many as 11 million vehicles could have
similar software installed worldwide.

Much of the company’s senior management departed following
the scandal, including chief executive Martin Winterkorn.



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