In 2017, the U.S. hit Volkswagen with a $4.3 billion fine as part of the company’s plea agreement for violating of the Clean Air Act. It was a rough ride for the automaker, caught using defeat devices on its diesel engines, but it brought the scandal more or less to a close in America.
An ocean away, it seemed nothing would come of the endless raids by German authorities on VW-owned facilities. Apparently, the wheels of justice just turn a little slower in Europe, as the automaker was fined 1 billion euros on Wednesday. It’s one of the largest financial penalties ever imposed on a company by German authorities.
According to Reuters, Volkswagen is not contesting the penalty. “Following thorough examination, Volkswagen AG accepted the fine and it will not lodge an appeal against it. Volkswagen AG, by doing so, admits its responsibility for the diesel crisis and considers this as a further major step toward the latter being overcome,” the automaker said in a statement.
Meanwhile, German investigators continue pushing forward with ongoing investigations. On Monday, the European feds ordered Daimler to recall roughly 240,000 cars fitted with emissions-control devices — part of a total of 774,000 models affected on the continent.
Munich prosecutors also expanded their emissions cheating probe into VW’s luxury brand, Audi. Suspects accused of fraud and false advertising now include the brand’s chairman and CEO after an official announcement on Monday.
“Since May 30th, 2018 the chairman of the board of Audi AG, Prof. Rupert Stadler, as well as a further member of the management board are now named suspects,” the prosecutor’s office clarified.