German prosecutors fine Volkswagen 800m Euros over diesel emissions

Volkswagen cars wait to be shipped at the harbour in Bremerhaven | Patrik Stollarz  AFP via Getty Images

Volkswagen AG will pay a 1 billion euro ($1.2 billion) fine imposed by German prosecutors for cheating to get around diesel-emissions regulations, closing one chapter in a three-year-old crisis even as new developments arise.

The fine follows a United States plea agreement from January 2017 when VW agreed to pay $4.3bn to resolve criminal and civil penalties for installing illegal software in diesel engines to cheat strict U.S. anti-pollution tests.

The prosecutors office levied the fine over the installation of illegal software in 10.7 million vehicles sold worldwide between 2007 and 2015, according to the carmaker.

Volkswagen said it hoped that paying the German fine would have "positive effects on other official proceedings being conducted in Europe against Volkswagen" and its subsidiaries.

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The 1 billion fine does however end regulatory offence proceedings against Volkswagen, which the Wolfsburg-based carmaker said it assumed would help to settle further administrative proceedings against VW in Europe. "Volkswagen is committed to its responsibility for the diesel crisis and sees this as another important step to its management", it said in a statement.

"We work with vigor on dealing with our past", VW Chief Executive Officer Herbert Diess said in a separate statement.

"The fact that the criminal risk has now been dealt with is good news", said Arndt Ellinghorst, an analyst with Evercore ISI.

The scandal, which came to light in the U.S. in 2015 after VW admitted to circumventing the emissions control system there for diesel vehicles sold since 2009, has so far cost the German automaker $4.3bn (£3bn) in federal penalties over there.

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