Volkswagen’s diesel cheating scandal has been in the news for nearly a year now since the story first broke last year. This year, it was reported that some settlement agreements had been reached. Yet, the U.S. Justice Department is not done with the automaker yet.
Volkswagen has been holding preliminary settlement talks with the U.S. Department of Justice in regards to a criminal investigation into the emissions scandal. It is likely that the that the fine will be over one billion U.S. dollars, yet another hit to the beleaguered company.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. Department of Justice has found evidence of criminal wrongdoing. VW’s lawyers and federal prosecutors have begun negotiating a settlement that could mean the automaker owing “significant financial penalties.”
It is yet to be determined if government prosecutors will seek a plea of guilty or if they will instead pursue a “deferred prosecution agreement.” If they seek the latter, it means that the government will agree to dismiss criminal charges after a set period of time provided that VW adheres to the terms of the settlement.
Both General Motors and Toyota entered into deferred prosecution agreements with the Justice Department in recent years. However, VW’s case is uniquely different. Both Toyota and GM owned up to the mistakes that were made and publicly apologized.
VW has yet to own up to its actions. While VW CEO Matthias Mueller has expressed regret for the cheating debacle, the company has yet to give a full explanation for what exactly occurred. Nor has the company named the employees who programmed the cars to cheat. In addition, the problems with GM and Toyota were largely seen as mistakes. There is evidence that VW committed crimes from the start.
If you have been affected by the Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal by owning or leasing an affected vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the “Strong Arm” attorneys at the offices of John Foy & Associates. Our experienced attorneys will work to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today.