Volkswagen has pleaded guilty over the weekend to fraud, obstruction of justice and falsifying documents as part of its $6.2 settlement with the United States Justice Department, which was first reached in January, over the diesel emissions scandal.
VW’s general counsel, Manfred Doess, made the plea on the car maker’s behalf. The plea was accepted by U.S district judge Sean Cox, who has set a sentencing date for April 21.
Shares rose 0.3 per cent at the news in Germany to 143.70 euros.
A company spokesman told Reuters it was the first time the company has pleaded guilty to criminal conduct in any court in the world. The guilty plea follows ongoing investigations which began in 2015, when news emerged that Volkswagen had intentionally cheated on emissions tests for at least six years.
In total, VW has agreed to spend over $36 billion on settlements between owners, states, dealerships and environmental regulators in the U.S. and has offered to buy back approximately 500,000 polluting vehicles.