Toronto (AP) - Canada has imposed a million-dollar fine on the Volkswagen Group for violating environmental laws and import regulations in the “Dieselgate” scandal.
The German car maker will be fined $ 196.5 million in Canadian dollars, the Toronto prosecutor said. Volkswagen had previously pleaded guilty to importing cars that did not meet the permitted emissions standards. The manufacturer admitted to violating environmental laws and providing misleading information.
Volkswagen said in a statement that the company had cooperated extensively in the investigation of the authorities. After the admission of guilt and the agreement with the public prosecutor, all complaints were settled. The decision recognizes the comprehensive measures Volkswagen has taken in Canada to redress and strengthen its global compliance guidelines. The group's payment would support environmental projects in Canada.
The Canadian government filed charges against VW in December, accusing the group of having imported almost 128,000 vehicles with illegal exhaust technology to manipulate emissions between early 2008 and late 2015. VW has faced lawsuits from diesel owners in the country in recent years and has spent over $ 2 billion in compensation there. The government's complaint followed four years of investigations by the Ministry of the Environment.
In September 2015, VW, under pressure from US environmental agencies, admitted that it had cheated on emissions tests on a large scale. The so-called shutdown devices (“defeat devices”) were used to hold down the nitrogen oxide measurements on the test bench. According to the company's information at the time, the affair affected around eleven million diesel cars worldwide. Because of the “Dieselgate” scandal, the group has already booked more than 30 billion euros in legal costs. The legal work on the affair continues.
The affected cars were not only vehicles of the VW brand, but also models of the subsidiaries Porsche and Audi. In the United States, the company also made a pledge of guilt in court. VW was not only subjected to enormous sanctions under civil law, but also paid a billion dollar fine for criminal offenses. Criminal charges and arrest warrants issued by the United States judicial authorities have been filed against several suspects, including ex-CEO Martin Winterkorn. Two former VW employees have already been sentenced to years of imprisonment and high fines.