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Volkswagen fined €1 billion in Germany for dieselgate

Volkswagen logoVolkswagen has been fined €1 billion (£880 million) by German authorities over the ‘dieselgate’ diesel emissions cheating scandal that has rocked the firm in recent years.

The company has accepted the fine and does not plan to appeal it.

“Volkswagen AG, by doing so, admits its responsibility for the diesel crisis and considers this as a further major step towards the latter being overcome,” it said in a statement.

It hopes that by accepting the fine and settling proceedings, there will be “significant positive effects on further active administrative proceedings in Europe against the Volkswagen AG and its subsidiaries”. 

The firm has already agreed to pay $4.3 billion (£3.2 billion) in the United States. VW has forked out over £20 billion in settlements and fines for the dieselgate scandal, which was uncovered in the U.S. in 2015. Almost 11 million vehicles were found to contain software that manipulated official economy and emissions tests.

The German fine is one of the largest ever handed out by authorities, and largely consists of cash to account for the ‘economic benefits’ Volkswagen gained from cheating. Just €5 million is going towards legal penalties.

And although the fine is huge, it should be put into context, Evercore ISI analyst Arndt Ellinghorst told Reuters. “Paying out 1 billion euros is extreme painful but in the broader context it isn’t a material number.” After the first quarter, currently-thriving VW had €24.3 billion in the bank…

Following news of the German fine, Volkswagen shares closed marginally higher. 

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