Audi to Pay Nearly $1 Billion for Its Part in Diesel Emissions Scandal
Fine brings the total cost of the scandal to nearly $33 billion
Audi, a premium car brand subsidiary of Volkswagen, agreed to pay a nearly $1 billion fine to settle an investigation into its role in the 2015 Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. The carmaker says it has no plans to appeal the fine and appears ready to accept responsibility for its role, bringing the total cost of the scandal to Volkswagen and subsidiaries to nearly $33 billion.
Installed Emissions 'Defeat Devices'
In 2015, US investigators uncovered some Volkswagen vehicles that were fitted with 'defeat devices,' software that altered emissions readings during air quality testing so that the true amount of nitrogen oxides, a byproduct of diesel combustion, were reduced. This effectively made the emissions in affected Audi, Volkswagen and Porsche cars look much less toxic than they truly were.
Volkswagen subsequently admitted to cheating on emissions after years of marketing and selling these so-called "clean diesel" vehicles. The scandal affected 11 million diesel-powered cars worldwide and allowed those vehicles to produce up to forty times the level of emissions that were produced when these defeat devices were in use.
In June, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler was arrested for his connection with the scandal.
Lawsuits Still Pending
Volkswagen is still facing a number of lawsuits, including by shareholders demanding more than $10 billion in damages, claiming the company misled them.
Volkswagen is also being sued by up to 2,000 consumers, according to Reuters, who did not take part in a $25 billion settlement in 2016 and are seeking additional compensation. The settlement included buyback offers and compensation for owners of about 500,000 vehicles.