German automobile manufacturer Audi will be required to pay about $930 million (approx. 800 million euros) in fines to settle regulatory action taken against it in the automaker’s home country, confirmed sources close to the matter. The company was charged with rigging illegal software in a few of its diesel vehicles in an attempt to beat emissions tests.
The automaker informed in a statement that the fine would directly hurt the financial earnings of Volkswagen AG, the parent company of Audi, and would accordingly lower the group’s total earnings for fiscal year 2018 as a negative special item. Following in the settlement agreement, the Munich public prosecutor needed Audi to take the responsibility of the penalties.
Prosecutors stated that the lack of proper corporate oversight by the automaker had allowed this intentional wrongdoing by individuals. Apparently, out of the overall fine, 5 million euros were imposed due to the oversight failure and 795 million euros represent Audi AG’s forfeiture of profits from the violation, which include competitive advantages, profits from selling the cars, and savings on the costs of manufacturing vehicles which would have actually complied with the legal requirements.
Volkswagen gets a step closer in putting its current diesel emissions scandal behind as it settles the case with prosecutors in Munich. For the record, after news broke out in 2015 that Volkswagen had fitted millions of its vehicles with devices that were designed to make emissions levels seem lower than the actual levels on diesel vehicles, the company had to pay billions of dollars in fines.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency claims that nitrogen oxides, emitted from the vehicles, could increase susceptibility to respiratory infections, contribute to the development of asthma and could make existing lung disease worse. The European Environmental Agency estimated that in 2014, about 75,000 premature deaths in the European Union occurred due to nitrogen oxides.