Volkswagen Criminal Probe Update: US Justice Dept. Discuss Settling Criminal Probe

Aug 18, 2016 07:40 AM EDT | Shilpa Chakravorty

Months after the diesel emission scandal and lawsuit on Volkswagen, US Justice Department and Volkswagen has held preliminary talks about resolving the Volkswagen criminal probe.

Last Monday, it was reported by the Wall Street Journal that the fines for the same could rise up to $1.2 billion.

Incidentally, the pace of Volkswagen's internal investigation, along with complications from the separate civil suits filed in July has slowed the progress on reaching a settlement, reported Reuters.

Notably, last June Volkswagen has agreed to pay $15.3 billion after admitting to the US emission scandal claims. The German manufacturer agreed to buy back vehicles from consumers and provide funding, which would contribute to a cleaner technology.

However, the present Justice Department deal, Volkswagen will spend $2 million over 10 years to fund programs that are directed by California and EPA. These programs will be promote constructions of infrastructure to charge electric vehicles, develop zero emission ride sharing fleets and other similar efforts to boost green technology.

Moreover, VW has also agreed to pay $2.7 billion over a time period of three years to enable the US government and tribal agencies to replace old infrastructures to reduce diesel emissions.

According to reports, a VW spokesperson mentioned that the company is committed to earning back its lost trust.

 "As we have said previously, Volkswagen is cooperating with federal and state regulators in the United States, including the Department of Justice, and our discussions are continuing toward a resolution of remaining issues," he mentioned.

The US Justice Department was unavailable for comments.

Unfortunately for Volkswagen, the fine to resolve the US Criminal Investigation probe is the largest ever imposed on an automaker, surpassing that of Toyota and General Motors Co.

 Earlier in 2014, Toyota Moto Corp paid $1.2 billion to resolve a Justice Department investigation, and General Motors Co paid $900 million, in addition to signing a deferred  prosecution agreement.

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