Volkswagen has agreed to pay $4.3 billion to consumers, plus an additional $154 million to California for violating its clean air laws, making it the biggest fine ever levied by the government against an automaker. They admitted installing software in diesel engines on nearly 600,000 VW, Porsche, and Audi vehicles in the U.S. that activated pollution controls during government tests and switched off in real-world driving. The software allowed the cars to spew harmful nitrogen oxide at up to 40 times above the legal limit. The scam includes over 11 million vehicles worldwide.
Six high-level Volkswagen employees from Germany were indicted in the U.S., however only one has been arrested, Oliver Schmidt, during a recent visit to Miami. It is doubtful the other 5 will face the courts in the U.S. since German law generally bars extradition of the country’s citizens except within the European Union. Read more