Volkswagen is facing criminal charges over the diesel emission scandal in the U.S. The Wall Street Journal reports that investigators from the U.S. Justice Department have found evidence of criminal wrongdoing. It is unclear what the evidence is. According to sources, federal prosecutors are still trying to figure out what charges should be brought against Volkswagen.
Sources go on to say that prosecutors and lawyers from Volkswagen have held preliminary discussions about the case. The two parties are trying to reach a settlement before the end of the year. A matter up for debate is whether the Justice Department will seek a guilty plea or a deferred prosecution agreement; a deal with the U.S. Government would aim to dismiss the charges at a later date if the automaker complies to terms of a settlement. Both Toyota and General Motors have gone down this route recently, dealing with safety issues.
Investigators have been reviewing over 1.5 million documents as part of the criminal probe. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates said back in June the probe involved “multiple individuals.” It is unknown if prosecutors are planning to charge Volkswagen employees over the diesel emission scandal. If so, they would need to be extradited from Germany to have their day in court.
Source: The Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required)