VW pleads guilty to U.S. emissions charges

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VW pleads guilty to U.S. emissions charges

"Your honor, VW AG is pleading guilty to all three counts because it is guilty on all three counts", Doess told the court.

In January, VW agreed a plea deal with U.S. prosecutors which would see huge reforms for the company, new audits and an independent monitor overseeing operations for three years.

U.S. District Judge Sean Cox accepted the plea, but said in light of the "very, very serious" offenses, he wasn't comfortable approving the sentencing agreement immediately.

The emissions scandal erupted in 2015 when United States researchers discovered many VW vehicles sold in the U.S. were fitted with software that discretely turned on pollution controls during Government tests and switched them off in real-world driving.

Previously, Volkswagen agreed to approximately $17 billion in civil settlements for owners of vehicles affected by the scandal.

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Using illegal software, Volkswagen's TDI engines could manipulate emissions during controlled government testing to appear compliant with clean air laws.

. The auto maker's plea agreement includes a $2.8 billion criminal fine and resolves a longstanding Justice Department probe. "I just want more time to reflect and study".

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency disclosed Volkswagen's deception in September 2015 and said the company's vehicles spewed toxic tailpipe emissions up to 40 times above allowable levels.

The US Justice Department in a court filing Monday called Volkswagen's conduct "one of the largest corporate fraud schemes in the history of the United States".

The German carmaker is spending up to $10 billion on buybacks and compensation for almost 500,000 vehicle owners.

VW entered the formal plea in Detroit federal court Friday as it agreed to do two months ago as part of a $4.3 billion deal to settle claims over the emissions scandal. Seven employees also face criminal charges in the case. The Italian-U.S. auto maker has denied wrongdoing.

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