Business & Real Estate

VW’s legal tab for its diesel engine scheme continues to grow

A shareholder walks next to a car prior to Volkswagen AG’s annual general meeting in Hanover, Germany, Wednesday, June 22, 2016.
A shareholder walks next to a car prior to Volkswagen AG’s annual general meeting in Hanover, Germany, Wednesday, June 22, 2016. Deutsche Presse-Agentur

Volkswagen’s bill for tricking California air regulators with falsified vehicle emission data continues to grow.

The German car manufacturer is paying the state another $86 million in fines on top of the $14.7 billion settlement it announced last week with California and the federal government, according to an agreement released Thursday by the state attorney general’s office.

The tab could keep running.

VW’s settlements so far cover most – but not all – of the nearly 500,000 diesel-fuel cars it sold after 2009 with so-called “defeat devices” that circumvented air quality tests in such a way that regulators believed they met emission standards.

VW also has not yet settled potential criminal charges from the state or federal government.

Last week’s larger settlement sends $1.18 billion to California for air quality programs and efforts to build demand for zero-emission vehicles.

The new settlement includes $10 million to research ways to detect “defeat devices” and improve tests for vehicle emissions.

The other $76 million will go to the attorney general’s office to offset the cost of the state’s VW investigation and pay for other consumer and environmental protection efforts.

The California Air Resources Board first identified irregularities in VW diesel-fuel emission tests in 2014. The air board’s independent tests showed certain VW cars emitting pollutants at 40 times the level allowed by state and federal standards.

Adam Ashton: 916-321-1063, @Adam_Ashton

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