BERLIN – Automaker Volkswagen said Wednesday that it’s being fined $1.5 billion by German authorities in connection with the diesel emissions scandal.
Volkswagen said in a statement it would accept the fine imposed by prosecutors in the German city of Braunschweig.
Prosecutors concluded that Volkswagen failed to properly oversee the activity of its engine development department, resulting in some 10.7 million diesel vehicles with illegal emissions-controlling software being sold worldwide.
The scandal, which came to light in the United States in 2015, has already cost the German automaker $20 billion in fines and civil settlements in the U.S.
Volkswagen said it hoped that paying the German fine would have “positive effects on other official proceedings being conducted in Europe against Volkswagen” and its subsidiaries.
Volkswagen admitted in 2015 to cheating on U.S. emissions tests by equipping diesel cars with software that turned on emissions controls when the vehicles were on test stands, and reduced the controls during normal driving.
Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn was charged in March in the U.S. with wire fraud and conspiring to violate the U.S. Clean Air Act. Two lower-ranking Volkswagen executives have been sentenced to prison in the United States, while five others have been charged but not been apprehended.
The German prosecutors are investigating Winterkorn and 48 others in connection with the emissions scandal.
Winterkorn resigned days after the U.S. government accused Volkswagen of evading emissions standards, saying at the time that he was not aware of any wrongdoing on his part.