Even after agreeing to shell out a massive $14.7 billion settlement in California and initiating the recall and buyback program for its emissions-cheating vehicles, Volkswagen knew that its days in court weren’t quite over with. Today, the company finally faced the music in its lawsuit brought on by the US Justice Department and pled guilty to a trio of criminal charges. A half dozen senior VW employees have also now been indicted, and the AP reports that upwards of 40 Volkswagen employees sought to cover up evidence of wrongdoing.
As part of its punishment, Volkswagen will pay a massive $4.3 billion penalty, which is by far the largest such penalty for an automaker, ever. Additionally, the company will be forced to work with a fully independent overseer for a period of three years.
By pleading guilty, VW must now also support the continued investigation into the “defeat device” — the gadgetry that allowed the vehicles to appear to be passing emissions tests when in reality they weren’t — as well as the subsequent coverup by Volkswagen employees.