German automaker Volkswagen AG is reportedly nearing a settlement with U.S. authorities that will see the company pay $4.3 billion in criminal and civil fines related to its diesel emissions cheating scandal.
Volkswagen said on Tuesday that it was in “advanced talks” with the Justice Department and U.S. Customs and Border Protection to close the deal. The proposed settlement would also include the appointment of an independent monitor that would oversee compliance for the next three years.
In return, Volkswagen will agree to a plea of “guilty” to the criminal charges in the matter. The settlement still needs to be approved by Volkswagen’s board of directors and U.S. courts.
“A final conclusion of the settlement agreement is further subject to the execution by the competent U.S. authorities and to the approval of the competent U.S. courts," the company said.
Volkswagen had already set aside nearly $192 billion to deal with fines, settlements, and recalls related to the scandal, and this proposal would push the total bill a bit higher than that figure. However, the carmaker did not say what impact the deal would have on earnings.
About 11 million Volkswagen vehicles worldwide were equipped with a software that enabled it to cheat on emissions tests. The company has already reached a $15 billion civil settlement with environmental regulators and U.S. car owners, and it still faces a lawsuit and criminal probe in Germany.
Oliver Schmidt, Volkswagen’s former head of U.S. environmental compliance, was arrested over the weekend, while another engineering employee has already pleaded guilty to criminal charges.
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