The 2015 emissions scandal has taken a new turn recently, with Audi, one of the companies owned by the parent Volkswagen, getting hit by a fine of €800 million (or $926 million).
The company had previously admitted that it rigged some of its V6 and V8 diesel engines with an “impermissible engine software” (later known as defeat devices), meant to give a lower rating of nitrogen oxides when tested.
Audi released a statement where it accepted the fine and “admits its responsibility”. The company has already lost its long-standing CEO Rupert Stadler, who was arrested in June as part of the proceedings.
It was revealed that they were indeed Audi engineers who came up with the idea of a rigged emissions software to evade the scrutiny. Further, the company also provided engines for the rest of the VW Group, which happened to carry the software.
Audi follows its parent VW Group, which agreed to a €1 billion settlement with Germany in 2015. It also agreed to recall all the affected vehicles and install replacement parts.
Audi has long been one of VW group’s most-profitable brands, usually ranking on top. Whether the admittance of guilt, which was required in the proceedings, seriously impairs the brand remains to be seen.
The matter, ultimately, is far from over, with impending lawsuits by investors and groups all over Europe. As the BBC notes, the verdict in this latest case is still a narrow win, as it concedes that the scandal was the work of a few individuals, rather than the company as a whole.
Via BBC News