Volkswagen is to pay $4.3bn (£3.5bn) under a plea deal with US authorities over the diesel emissions scandal.

The announcement was made by the Department of Justice (DoJ) as it detailed the lengths it said the company had gone to to hide so-called defeat devices to cheat emissions tests.

The deal includes the appointment of an independent monitor to oversee compliance and control for three years, while six senior supervisors have also been indicted on criminal charges.

The $4.3bn adds to a $15bn (£12.3bn) civil settlement with environmental authorities and car owners in America under which VW agreed to buy back up to 500,000 vehicles.

The company has now exceeded the €18.2bn (£15.8bn) originally set aside for the scandal.

DOJ officials allege Volkswagen employees lied to regulators and/or tried to destroy evidence, and that up to 40 people had been involved.

It said it reserved the right to bring further VW staff before the courts.

It believes the idea for software to limit emissions during testing was taken from Audi after engineers realised some engines would fail US scrutiny.

It detailed a further allegation that an unnamed official had urged them to continue but not to get caught when some staff raised objections.

The DOJ said the scandal had come to light in August 2015 when a member of staff ignored supervisors to inform US authorities about the software.

Volkswagen’s public admission, in September 2015, that it had used the defeat devices in the US became a worldwide problem for the company when it admitted up to 11 million vehicles were affected.

The carmaker is involved in lawsuits in several countries.

This week, a UK law firm said 10,000 motorists had signed up to legal action against VW seeking £3-4,000 per car for loss of inherent value.

The company said it would robustly defend the case and that it did not believe customers would lose out as a result of the scandal.

(c) Sky News 2017: Volkswagen to pay $4.3bn in US fines over diesel emissions scandal


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