Describing the settlement as “groundbreaking” and “unprecedented,” federal officials outlined a $14.7 billion, three-part deal with Volkswagen that will, among other things, remove as many as 475,000 diesel vehicles from U.S. roads.
But the agreement, which could yield significant compensation for those who own those vehicles, does not end the German automaker’s legal and financial problems. VW still has to reach a settlement covering about 50,000 additional vehicles. And it could yet face criminal charges and civil fines stemming from its efforts to cheat on government emissions tests.
The settlement “marks the largest clean air mitigation step in the history of the Clean Air Act,” declared Deputy U.S. Attorney General Sally G. Yates during a news conference in Washington, D.C. But, she added, “It is by no means the final step.” Among other things, she added, “I can assure you our criminal investigation is active and ongoing.”