Volkswagen to settle with U.S. after finding of criminal wrongdoing, according to report

Volkswagen agreed on Friday to pay up to $1.2 billion to its 652 United States brand dealers as part of a $16.5 billion diesel emissions settlement. Dealers will receive an average payment of $1.85 million each over 18 months following an emissions scandal in which nearly 600,000 diesel engine vehicles had illegal devices installed that caused emissions to exceed EPA's standards, resulting in harmful air pollution.Photo by UPI/Brian Kersey

WASHINGTON, Aug. 16 (UPI) — Volkswagen AG is reportedly working toward a final settlement with the U.S. Justice Department after a finding of criminal wrongdoing in the emissions scandal.

Volkswagen admitted in 2015 that it had designed and installed software to show lower-than-actual emissions levels during testing of several vehicle models equipped with diesel engines.

The Justice Department has not brought criminal charges against the company, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, and is now in settlement talks with the automaker.

Volkswagen has set aside $20 billion to cover costs related to its cover-up, and reached an agreement with U.S. authorities in July costing as much as $15.3 billion in buybacks and repairs to vehicles. It admitted to misleading U.S. environmental regulators regarding data emissions information on more than 600,000 cars sold in the United States.

In a separate, civil settlement in June it agreed to pay regulators and customers up to $15 billion. The July settlement did not absolve Volkswagen of criminal charges. The next settlement, expected by the end of 2016, could result in more financial penalties.

The company also faces possible prosecution by several states and countries.

“Our discussions are continuing toward a resolution of remaining issues,” the company, based in Wolfsburg, Germany, said Tuesday in an e-mailed statement.


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