Volkswagen fined $154 mn more in US for dieselgate

This file photo taken on September 29, 2015 shows the logo of German car maker Volkswagen at a dealership in Woodbridge, Virginia. / AFP / Paul J. Richards

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — Volkswagen must pay an additional $154 million to California to settle state environmental charges in the latest penalty in the scandal over its use of emissions “defeat devices,” regulators announced Thursday.

The sum is on top of $533 million VW already paid to California in the so-called dieselgate conspiracy, in which software allowed cars to pass emissions tests, while still spewing nitrogen oxide far above legal limits.

“This payment to the State of California closes another chapter in the so-called ‘dieselgate’ case against Volkswagen, but it is not the end of the story,” said Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

“There are still consumers waiting to find out the future of their cars. CARB is working with US EPA to determine if the remaining vehicles can be modified.”

The additional penalty will cover air quality violations and the costs of the California agency’s probe, CARB said.

VW admitted in 2015 to equipping about 11 million cars with defeat devices, including about 600,000 vehicles in the United States.

In the US, VW has pleaded guilty to felony charges, agreed to cooperate with ongoing criminal probes into the affair and to pay for the buyback and replacement of cars affected by the technology.

Volkswagen still faces an array of legal challenges in Germany and worldwide relating to the scandal.

The global carmaker has so far set aside more than 22 billion euros ($24.4 billion) to cover fines and compensation related to dieselgate, but experts estimate the final bill could be much higher.

© Agence France-Presse