German prosecutors fine Volkswagen $1.18B for emissions scandal

German prosecutors fined Volkswagen $1.18 billion Wednesday over its use of emissions test-cheating software on vehicles.

The $1.18 billion fine is a fraction of what the German company has had to pay in the United States -- north of $23.5 billion. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo
The $1.18 billion fine is a fraction of what the German company has had to pay in the United States — north of $23.5 billion. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

The Braunschweig public prosecutor issued the fine after determining the automaker installed the so-called “defeat devices” on more than 10 million cars made between 2007 and 2015.

The software is capable of sensing when a vehicle is undergoing an emissions test and is able to fully optimize emissions control systems at that time.

Volkswagen said it doesn’t plan to appeal the judgment.

“Volkswagen accepts the fine and, by doing so, admits its responsibility,” the company said in a release.

The $1.18 billion fine is a fraction of what the German company has had to pay in the United States — north of $23.5 billion.

About 500,000 vehicles in the United States and 11 million worldwide had the defeat device. Six VW executives have been indicted for the scandal, most recently former CEO Martin Winterkorn.

The trickery was detected by researchers at West Virginia University’s Center for Alternative Fuels Engines and Emissions.

By Danielle Haynes