The Dieselgate debacle continues as Judge Sean Cox has approved a settlement negotiated by Volkswagen and the U.S. Justice Department.
Saying the scandal was a “deliberate, massive fraud perpetrated by VW management,” Judge Cox sentenced Volkswagen to pay a massive $2.8 billion criminal penalty. The fine is part of a larger $4.3 billion plea agreement.
While the fine is substantial, Volkswagen could have been on the hook for much more. As the Detroit Free Press reports, the automaker could have faced a penalty of between $17 and $34 billion.
The agreement also calls on former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson to act as an independent monitor for the company. Volkswagen’s Board Member of Integrity and Legal Affairs, Hiltrud Werner, welcomed the news and said “We taken significant steps to strengthen accountability enhance transparency and build a better company and we look forward to working closely with Mr. Thompson as we press forward with the biggest change process in Volkswagen’s history.”
According to NBC News, the latest fine pushes the cost of the Dieselgate scandal to approximately $30 billion dollars. This includes previous settlements as well as buybacks and the recall of diesel models affected by the scandal.