Volkswagen Will Pay Up In Emissions Scandal

The company agreed to pay $4.3 billion, the largest penalty ever for an automaker

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Jan 11, 2017 at 5:32 PM ET

Following the scandal surrounding Volkswagen’s admitted deception of the Environmental Protection Agency and consumers that came to light in 2015, Volkswagen has agreed to pay $4.3 billion. Six executives with the company have been indicted on criminal charges.

It is the largest penalty ever faced by an automaker in the U.S., according to the AP.

The serious charges VW has plead guilty to include participating in a conspiracy to defraud the United States and violating the Clean Air Act. In total, 11 million Volkswagen vehicles around the world were emitting dangerously excessive levels of nitrogen oxide were installed with software intended to deceive EPA emissions tests between 2009 and 2015. Nitrogen oxide is known to be the worst ozone-depleting substance.

“Volkswagen’s attempts to dodge emissions standards and import falsely certified vehicles into the country represent an egregious violation of our nation’s environmental, consumer protection and financial laws,” Attorney Loretta General Lynch said in court on Wednesday.

Of the six Volkswagen execs involved in the scandal, only one has been arrested so far while visiting the United States last week. The rest are believed to be in Germany, a country where extradition is rare. Among them are high-ranking officials who worked in Quality Management and Product Safety, Environment and Engineering, and Engine Development. While its unclear whether or not any other persons will be indicted, the AP notes that at least 40 employees had been complicit in destroying evidence.