And that's on top of the $4.3 billion penalty it paid the US.
German authorities have just imposed one of the highest fines ever against a public company, in this case Volkswagen for its role in the diesel emissions cheating scandal, aka Dieselgate. According to Reuters, VW has accepted the penalty and will pony up one billion Euros ($1.18 billion USD). This is in addition to the $4.3 billion penalty plea agreement it signed with US officials in January 2017 for violating the Clean Air Act and acts of fraud.
“Following 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,” German prosecutors said in a statement. Prosecutors specifically pointed out that VW failed to prevent “impermissible software functions” installed in the software of some 10.7 million vehicles between 2007 and 2015. This fine, it should be noted, does not take the place of any civil lawsuits by affected owners. Nor is it included in the 25.8 billion euros VW previously set aside to cover fines and other scandal-related costs.
In other words, this week’s fine will hit the automaker’s earnings directly. Although the Dieselgate scandal broke back in September 2015, the German auto industry as a whole is still taking a beating. For example, earlier this week Daimler, parent company of Mercedes-Benz, was forced to recall another 240,000 vehicles in Europe as part of 774,000 units in total fitted with illegal emissions-control devices. VW’s luxury car division, Audi, is also under scrutiny. More specifically, CEO Rupert Stadler is now being accused by Munich prosecutors of fraud and false advertising. He’s been at the helm of the brand since 2007.
Even VW’s newly installed CEO, Herbert Diess, is currently under investigation by German authorities for suspected market manipulation. Given everything, it appears that German automakers and their top officials will be under scrutiny for the foreseeable future.