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Friday, July 21, 2017

VW Dieselgate fines reach $1.5 Billion in California according to CARB

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced an additional $153.8 million in fines against Volkswagen for the notorious emissions cheating scandal involving its model year 2009 - 2016, 2.0 and 3.0 liter diesel fueled passenger vehicles.

The additional penalties bring the total fines the company must pay in California to nearly $1.5 billion, the largest in history for violations of air quality rules.

“This payment to the State of California closes another chapter in the so-called ‘dieselgate’ case against Volkswagen, but it is not the end of the story,” said CARB Chair Mary Nichols. “There are still consumers waiting to find out the future of their cars. CARB is working with U.S. EPA to determine if the remaining vehicles can be modified.”

“What Volkswagen did was categorically unacceptable,” said Attorney General Xavier Becerra. “At the California Department of Justice, we’ve been holding Volkswagen accountable since we learned of their inexcusable actions. One thing should be crystal clear: wrongdoers who believe they can run and hide are sorely mistaken.”

The total fines are broken down as follows:
  1. $153.8 million for penalties for air quality violations and the cost of CARB's investigation.
  2. More than $422 million dollars VW must pay into a national trust to mitigate environmental harm in California.
  3. $800 million dollars in Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) related investments that VW must perform in California pursuant to an investment plan approved by CARB.
  4. $25 million dollars VW has paid to CARB to support ZEV investment programs, including vehicle replacement programs, for low-income residents.
  5. Consumer relief, including restitution and modification or buy back of the affected vehicles.
  6. $86 million dollars it has paid to the California Attorney General’s office for civil penalties and costs.
  7. Any additional mitigation payments VW is required to make if it fails to modify or buy back at least 85% of the subject vehicles in California.

The Consent Decree also includes an injunction requiring the company to implement a corporate compliance program, conduct enhanced vehicle testing, and undertake a series of audit and reporting obligations to ensure future compliance with U.S. and California laws and regulations.

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