VW Fined Billions of Dollars for What Looks Like the Last Time
Oh my God, it’s finally almost over. After a 10-year conspiracy and almost 600,000 rigged diesel cars, VW’s legal battle with the United States is coming to an end. Volkswagen pled guilty last month to conspiracy to commit fraud and the obstruction of justice after it was caught cheating on emissions tests in 2015, and we’ve been eagerly waiting the verdict and subsequent punishment.
Today, a U.S. judge ordered the automaker to observe three years of probation and shell out a $2.8 billion criminal fine. The sum, which Steph Willems has informed me equates to 135,168 VW Golfs — after delivery and rounding up to the closest car — is in addition to the company’s $1.5 billion in civil penalties, $4.7 billion in mandatory anti-pollution initiatives, and $11.2 billion diesel buyback program.
U.S. District Judge Sean Cox, who is apparently as ready for this to be over as we are, said during the Friday morning hearing that there would be no restitution to alleged victims tied to the criminal case, as it would complicate and delay sentencing. With fines already levied against the automaker and executives facing independent criminal charges, Cox stated that he believed the 2.8 billion dollar penalty and extended probationary period would be sufficient punishment.
However, he admitted to being upset over customers and employees harmed by the company’s actions, as well as the “deliberate destruction of evidence by VW management … with the participation and under supervision by [its] legal counsel.”
“This is a very serious and troubling case involving an iconic automobile company,” Cox told The Detroit News. “I just can’t believe that VW is in this situation that it finds itself in today.”
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- Dawn Maple They haven't even fixed the airbag issues and recalls completely, so why waste more time and money on another "safety feature" that removes choices from the driver? We would be safer getting in a car driven by Helen Keller. Oh wait with driver assist, all she has to do is find her car and turn it on.
- Lorenzo I'm out. I'd never find it in the dark.
- VoGhost Minivans don't sell well, and the market has been declining. And while the entire 'range anxiety' myth is mostly a big oil propaganda designed to scare the weak minded, minivans are often how families travel to grandma's house, so that will be a concern, unless VW can gain access to the Supercharger network. I could see 50K units at peak, declining to 25K/year after a couple of years, unless VW can price competitively with Tesla.
- VoGhost Glad you're healthy, Tim
- VoGhost 20 years ago, Sportage was the bottom of the barrel, a joke. Kia's come a long way.
That's a punishment? At BMW it has been standard practice to make all male executives wear schlongringen for 10 years. In the latest models they're triggered by a smartphone app. Last used when someone suggested a five speed manual available in all new models along with non-optional steering wheel.
So, this is one of those cases where, if one wanted to do actual journalism (which is expensive and tedious, I know), what you'd do is track where those billions went when the gubmint gets ahold of it. IF the gubmint it truly as outraged over the environmental impact as they claim, they'd use it for remediation of the pollution caused by VW's diesels. Dollars to doughnuts, however, they'll use it for anything but that. It would make a great story on yet another example of gubmint hypocrisy.