Jan 13 Volkswagen has agreed to pay
a $4.3 billion fine to settle U.S. criminal charges that it
conspired for nearly 10 years to cheat on diesel emission tests.
This follows an even larger civil settlement in October.
But investor lawsuits and investigations by state
prosecutors continue elsewhere.
OTHER CASES IN THE U.S.
In October, a U.S. judge approved a $14.7 billion civil
settlement with regulators and owners of 475,000 polluting
diesel vehicles, and the German automaker said it would begin
buying back the vehicles in mid-November. Court cases are still
pending in about 20 states, including New York, Massachusetts
Volkswagen faces 8.8 billion euros in damages claims from
investors. A total of about 1,520 lawsuits have been lodged in
the court near VW's Wolfsburg headquarters, including cases from
the states of Hesse, Baden-Wuertemberg and Bavaria.
Prosecutors are also investigating 31 people.
The Australian consumer watchdog said in September it had
sued the Australian arm of Volkswagen. In November
2015, Law firm Maurice Blackburn said it would launch a Federal
Court class action on behalf of Australian owners of Volkswagen,
Audi and Skoda vehicles seeking total damages "well north" of
Consumer organization Test Achats has launched a class
action suit against Volkswagen for vehicles sold after Sept. 1,
2014. A judge will decide whether this suit is admissible.
Separately, the region of Flanders brought a case against
Volkswagen in November, which Brussels prosecutors are
investigating. The Walloon region has also appointed a lawyer to
bring a case but formal proceedings have not yet started.
France has opened an investigation into suspected
"aggravated fraud" by Volkswagen. In January, it was passed to
the prosecution team in charge of public health questions.
Volkswagen was fined 5 million euros by the country's
anti-trust agency in August for allegedly misinforming car
buyers about diesel emissions results. The carmaker plans to
challenge the fine.
An appeals court in Venice has accepted a class action suit
against Volkswagen over allegations it understated the fuel
consumption of its Golf model.
Police opened an investigation of Volkswagen in September
2015 which remains open. Police will await the outcome of
Germany's investigation before deciding whether to proceed.
Separately, Norway's sovereign wealth fund said in May it would
join a class-action lawsuit over the emissions scandal, and in
June it filed a complaint to the Braunschweig District Court in
High Court said in July that VW's parent company, based in
Germany, would be liable to answer any charges over emissions
fraud, rather than its Spanish affiliates.
Prosecutors indicted seven current and former executives and
employees of VW's local unit as well as one contractor for
alleged violation of the Clean Air Conservation Act and other
Prosecutors are conducting two parallel preliminary
investigations, one focused on suspected fraud and the other on
suspected environmental crimes. Both probes remain ongoing and
have yet to place any individuals under suspicion. In the fraud
probe, the prosecutor at Sweden's National Unit Against
Corruption is awaiting further information pertinent to the case
Prosecutors have opened criminal proceedings and seized
evidence from the AMAG dealership network after an appellate
court ruled Swiss investigators must conduct their own
investigation of Volkswagen.
Harcus Sinclair UK will pursue a group action at the High
Court seeking thousands of pounds of compensation each for UK
drivers. The first hearing in the group action case is due to
take place on Jan. 30..
(Reporting by Pawel Goraj and Wout Vergauwen; Editing by