[JURIST] German automaker Volkswagen (VW) [corporate website] confirmed] Tuesday that it had reached a $4.3 billion dollar settlement in the US in which it will plead guilty to criminal charges that it violated the Clean Air Act [official website] and obstructed justice. The $4.3 billion figure [Reuters report is just part of the $20 billion the scandal has cost VWso far. While Volkswagen is likely attempting to finalize a deal before the change of presidential administrations next week in an attempt to avoid delays [NYT report]. The settlement will still need to be approved by a federal judge.
VW has been steeply penalized internationally for a scandal [JURIST op-ed] that saw the automaker cheat emissions standards with software designed to fool testing equipment. Earlier this week corporate executive Oliver Schmidt was arrested [JURIST report] by the FBI on charges that he had conspired to defraud the US. VW faces sanctions in South Korea, Spain, Germany and Australia in addition to other sanctions [JURIST reports] in the US. The EU announced [JURIST report] in December a plan to hold member nations accountable for VW's fraud, increasing the likelihood that other states may be added to the list of those suing the automaker.