Volkswagen agreed Thursday to pay California an additional $153.8 million in the carmaker’s diesel air-pollution scandal.
The new payment comes on top of more than $15 billion Volkswagen already has agreed to pay government agencies and consumers after admitting it rigged hundreds of thousands of cars to cheat on air-pollution regulations.
Volkswagen will pay $93.8 million into an air pollution control fund operated by the California Air Resources Board. It will pay the state agency, which was instrumental in uncovering the scandal, another $60 million to cover the regulator’s past and future costs associated with the Volkswagen case, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.
“This is the actual penalties and payment for the millions of dollars we spent investigating these guys,” said agency spokesman David Clegern.
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The case against Volkswagen isn’t over. Volkswagen has pledged to buy back or repair thousands of tainted vehicles, but is still working with state and federal regulators to figure out if the emissions-control systems on some models can be fixed. “There are still consumers waiting to find out the future of their cars,” said Mary Nichols, chairwoman of the Air Resources Board, in a prepared statement.
All told, Volkswagen is spending roughly $1.5 billion in California to make amends for the diesel case. That figure doesn’t include the expense of repairing or repurchasing Californians’ cars.
The air board is set to rule next week on another element of the carmaker’s punishment: Volkswagen’s revised formula for spending $800 million promoting zero-emission electric vehicles, or ZEVs, in California over the next decade. The plan includes spending $44 million in Sacramento in the next couple of years building charging stations and developing an all-electric ride-sharing service.
The state board essentially rejected Volkswagen’s first proposal in May, saying it didn’t do enough to promote ZEVs in poor communities of California that suffer from the state’s worst air pollution.
Volkswagen admitted in late 2015 that it equipped more than a half-million diesel cars with “defeat device” software. The software activated the emissions-control systems when the cars were being tested but switched them off when they were on the open road. Engineers at the California air board’s test lab in El Monte confirmed the existence of the rogue software.