BREAKING: Volkswagen Pleads Guilty to Three Felony Accounts Related to Emissions Cheating
VW general counsel cops to conspiracy to commit fraud, obstruction of justice, and entry of goods by false statement.
"Your honor, VW AG is pleading guilty to all three counts because it is guilty on all three counts," Manfred Doess, Volkswagen general council, told a U.S. District Court today. Doess was authorized to enter the guilty plea to three felony counts on the company's behalf by Volkswagen's board of directors, according to Reuters.
The three counts in question were conspiracy to commit fraud, obstruction of justice, and entry of goods by false statement. The hearing was part of the $4.3 billion plea agreement Volkswagen reached with the Justice Department in January stemming from the secret "defeat device" software installed on 580,000 US vehicles to cheat emissions tests over a six-year period. U.S. District Judge Sean Cox accepted the guilty plea.
Seven current and former VW execs have also been charged with crimes related to the so-called "Dieselgate" scandal. German authorities are also investigating Germany on its home turf.
VW has agreed to spend up to $25 billion to rectify the situation in the US alone, attempting to make good with state and federal governments, regulators, dealers, and customers. VW stopped sales of diesels in late 2015 and "has said it has no plans to resume sales" of new diesels in the U.S., Reuters says.