The emissions scandal that engulfed Volkswagen three years ago continues to dog the carmaking giant, as German authorities hit the group with a €1.2bn fine. Then, the automaker agreed to pay $4.3 billion to resolve both civil and criminal penalties relating to the installation of illegal software that allows its vehicles to circumvent US emission tests.
"The Prosecutor's Office in Braunschweig ascertained a violation of supervisory duties", the prosecutor's office said in a statement, adding that the fine did not address civil claims or claims by vehicle owners.
Earlier this week, Reuters reported that the Munich public prosecutor's office had searched the resepctive properties of Audi CEO Rupert Stadler and one other Volkswagen board member. Germany's government on Monday ordered Daimler to recall almost 240,000 cars fitted with illicit emissions-control devices, part of a total of 774,000 models affected in Europe as a whole. "Volkswagen, by doing so, admits its responsibility for the diesel crisis".
This had led to 10.7 million cars "being advertised, sold to customers and placed on the market with an impermissible software function" in the US, Canada and worldwide between mid-2007 and 2015, the company said.
The €1bn fine does, however, end regulatory offence proceedings against VW, which the Wolfsburg-based carmaker said it assumed would help to settle further administrative proceedings against it in Europe.
VW is far from being out of the woods.
"We work with vigor on dealing with our past", VW Chief Executive Officer Herbert Diess said in a separate statement.
The German auto maker announced the fine on Wednesday evening, saying it had agreed the "administrative penalty" after an investigation by the public prosecutor in Braunschweig, the city close to the company's Wolfsburg headquarters.