Volkswagen pleaded guilty Friday to cheating emission tests by using software in nearly 600,000 vehicles in the U.S.
German automaker pleaded guilty in a Detroit court to charges of obstruction of justice, conspiracy to commit fraud, and import of goods to the U.S. by false statement. Volkswagen counsel Manfred Doess made the plea on the company's behalf.
The company made a deal with the U.S. Justice Department in January, agreeing to pay $4.3 billion in penalties.
It will pay a $2.8-billion criminal penalty for 590,000 vehicles sold in the U.S that have software that manipulate emissions tests. An additional $1.5-billion fine will go to resolving environmental, customs and financial claims.
The emissions scandal is estimated to cost Volkswagen around $21 billion, while cases in other countries may increase that figure.
Australia’s consumer watchdog also sued the firm Tuesday for emission claims dating back to 2011-2015.
An estimated 11 million Volkswagen diesel vehicles around the world have the manipulative software.
The company indicted six of his employees for conspiracy to defraud the U.S. in January, and has so far fired 10 of its top executives in an internal investigation. CEO Martin Winterkorn resigned.
Despite the scandal, it became the largest automaker of 2016 thanks to a 3.8 percent year-on-year growth and 10.31 million vehicles sold worldwide.
By Ovunc Kutlu in Houston, Texas