Volkswagen shares closed higher Wednesday but could be set for a tough session Thursday after a German prosecutor fined the car maker €1 billion for the diesel emissions cheating scandal. Volkswagen said it would not contest the decision and admits responsibility for the diesel crisis.
Volkswagen shares closed 0.56% higher at €160.40 at the end of the European trading session Wednesday. The stock has been trending mainly lower in the past four weeks.
Volkswagen given highest penalty
The Braunschweig public prosecutor Wednesday issued an administrative order against Volkswagen of €1 billion euros due to its part in the diesel crisis. It found that VW had sold 10.7 million cars between 2007 – 2015 with emissions cheating software.
The German fine follows a US criminal fine in 2017 where VW had to pay $4.3 billion to satisfy criminal and civil penalties there for the vehicles it sold there, that were fitted with the emissions cheating software.
While Wednesday’s fine means an end to the legal proceedings around the regulatory offences VW has carried out, it does not include any claims by vehicle owners, or other civil claims with regards to the scandal.
VW admits responsibility
Following the announcement, VW said it will not appeal against the decision. It also added that it admits full responsibility.
“Following thorough examination, Volkswagen AG accepted the fine and it will not lodge an appeal against it,” the company said in a press release. “Volkswagen AG, by doing so, admits its responsibility for the diesel crisis and considers this as a further major step towards the latter being overcome.”
However, while, the legal regulatory proceedings against VW in Germany are over, for its luxury car arm Audi an investigation into emissions cheating there just took a turn for the worse.
Munich prosecutors have now widened the investigation to include Chief Executive Rupert Stadler among the suspects in the case of fraud and false advertising.