Germany fines Volkswagen €1 billion over dieselgate

A fine mess.
A fine mess.
Image: EPA/Peter Steffen
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The state prosecutor in the German city of Braunschweig just hit Volkswagen with a fine of €1 billion ($1.2 billion) for the diesel scandal.

The fine was slapped on the auto maker for “breaches of supervision in its engine development department.” Those breaches of supervision meant almost 11 million diesel cars were fitted with emissions-cheating software.

VW said that it accepted the fine, and would not appeal. “Volkswagen is committed to its responsibility for the diesel crisis and sees this as another important step to its management,” it said in a statement.

US investigators were the first to uncover VW’s vast diesel-emissions manipulations in 2015. The company has since paid out over $7 billion to compensate customers in the US. Up until today, VW seemed to have gotten off lightly in its homeland, only offering software fixes for the around 2.8 million affected diesels—and talking its way out of the more expensive hardware fixes for the cars.

Handelsblatt reported in March that out of the $31 billion the carmaker has earmarked in fines and compensation, the bulk of it has been paid out in the US.