Volkswagen has been fined one billion euros ($1.18 billion) concerning diesel emissions cheating in what totals to one of the highest ever fines imposed by German officials against a company, public prosecutors stated on Wednesday.
The German fine comes after a U.S. plea agreement from January 2017 when the automaker agreed to pay $4.3 billion to deal with criminal and civil penalties for setting up illegal software in diesel engines to cheat strict U.S. anti-pollution tests.
“After 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,” it stated.
The fine is the recent blow to Germany’s auto industry which is seemingly not getting a break from the diesel emissions crisis. Germany’s government on Monday ordered Daimler to recall almost 240,000 cars fitted with illicit emissions-control devices, part of a overall of 774,000 models affected the European continent as a whole.
Munich prosecutors this week expanded an emissions cheating investigation into automaker’s luxury brand Audi to include Chief Executive Rupert Stadler as one of the suspects alleged of fraud and false advertising.
The prosecutor’s office in Braunschweig put the fine against the automaker on Wednesday for organizational deficiencies which failed to avoid “impermissible software functions” from being installed in 10.7 million vehicles from 2007 to 2015.
The fine did not concern any civil claims or claims by automobile owners, the prosecutor’s office stated. It does, however, put an end to regulatory offence proceedings against Volkswagen, which the automaker said would help to settle further administrative proceedings against VW in the continent.