13:55 GMT27 February 2021
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    Deputy US Attorney General Sally Yates said that he criminal probe would target any companies or individuals involved in the scheme in which Volkswagen diesel cars were rigged with software to defeat pollution monitoring tests, while allowing cars to emit up to 40 times allowed levels of pollution.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Criminal penalties for Volkswagen and its executives are likely to follow Tuesday’s agreement by the auto maker to set aside nearly $15 billion for customers who purchased pollution spewing cars and to pay other civil penalties, Deputy US Attorney General Sally Yates announced at a news conference on Monday.

    "While this announcement is an important step forward in achieving justice for the American people, let me be clear, it is by no means the last," Yates said. "The settlements do not address any potential criminal liability, although I can assure you that our criminal investigation remains active and ongoing."

    Yates said the criminal probe would target any companies or individuals involved in the scheme in which diesel cars were rigged with software to defeat pollution monitoring tests, while allowing cars to emit up to 40 times allowed levels of pollution.

    The $14.7 settlement includes $10 billion for Volkswagen to buy back cars, cancel leases and pay off car loans, plus up to $10,000 in additional compensation — a package that presumably pays for new vehicles, Yates explained.

    About $2.7 billion will pay for pollution reduction programs to offset environmental damage and another $2 billion to pay for research on vehicles that produce zero harmful emissions, Yates added.

    The agreement applies to vehicles equipped with 2.0-liter diesel engines from 2009 to 2015. Volkswagen could also face additional penalties if 3.0-liter diesels are found to have similar rigged software, according to Yates.

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    Volkswagen, Sally Yates, US, Germany
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