Volkswagen to pay $2.8 billion in US diesel emission scandal

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Volkswagen and the U.S. government are asking a judge to approve a Dollars 2.8 billion criminal penalty against the automaker for cheating on diesel emissions tests.

Cox urged the German government to "prosecute those responsible for this deliberate massive fraud that has damaged an iconic automobile company".

In total, VW has agreed to spend up to $25 billion in the United States to address claims from owners, environmental regulators, states and dealers and to make buy-back offers.The U.S. Justice Department has also charged seven current and former VW executives with crimes related to the scandal.

In brief remarks to the judge, VW defense attorney Jason Weinstein says the criminal fine is an "appropriate and serious sanction".

Federal Judge Sean Cox in Detroit followed the deal negotiated by VW and the U.S. Justice Department. The penalty could be the largest ever paid by an automaker in the U.S.

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U.S. District Judge Sean Cox on Friday accepted a plea agreement reached in January between the automaker and the federal government.

"Volkswagen deeply regrets the behavior that gave rise to this case".

The carmaker has admitted to programming its diesel cars to trick emissions testers into believing the engines released far less pollution into the air than they actually do, in violation of the federal Clean Air Act. "This case also involves a failure of the VW supervisory board, which is government, labor and shareholders". Even so, Cox overruled several objections to the plea agreement that would have allowed individuals to seek criminal restitution from the courts.

US regulators confronted VW about the cheating software after West Virginia University researchers discovered differences in testing and real-world emissions of harmful nitrogen oxide.