VW agrees to pay €1bn fine from German prosecutors

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Volkswagen has been fined €1bn for emissions cheating by German prosecutors.

Volkswagen has said it will not appeal the fine

The carmaker said an investigation by the Braunschweig public prosecutor “found monitoring duties had been breached in the Powertrain Development department in the context of vehicle tests”. As a result, VW was found to have sold 10.7 million vehicles with defeat devices worldwide in the period from mid-2007 until 2015.

In a statement, Volkswagen AG said it accepted the fine and in doing so, admitted its responsibility for the diesel crisis, adding that it considered this as a further major step towards the latter being overcome.

It’s believed that the fine will see all European criminal investigations finish but will not impact on current civil claims.

The fine was greeted by eco law firm ClientEarth. Clean air lawyer Ugo Taddei said: “This has been a long time coming. Industry must pay for breaking the laws – and making Volkswagen accountable is just the start. It’s become evident that emissions cheating is an industry-wide issue and it’s high time for authorities all across Europe to start imposing fines. All emissions cheats in the auto industry are on the hook.

“Car manufacturers’ manipulation of emissions tests has left German courts with no option other than to order diesel bans. Now, the political embarrassment caused by the ongoing emissions scandal has finally forced the first fines in Europe against Volkswagen. We hope that this is a sign that people’s health will now be put before industry interests.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.