VW pleads guilty to US emissions charges

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Volkswagen has pleaded guilty to three charges as part of a $4.3bn (£3.5bn) agreement with the US regulators over the diesel emissions scandal.

The German car maker has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud, obstruction of justice and entry of goods by false statement.

VW general counsel Manfred Doess told a court in Detroit the company was “guilty on all three counts”.

He said the criminal acts occurred in both Germany and the United States.

Under the deal with the Department of Justice, VW agreed to major reforms and scrutiny by an independent monitor for three years after admitting to installing secret software in 580,000 US vehicles.

The devices allowed VW to beat emissions tests over a six-year period and emit up to 40 times legally allowable pollution.

John Neal, an assistant US attorney, told the US district court that the emissions scheme “was a well thought-out, planned offense that went to the top of the organisation”.

Volkswagen agreed to change the way it operates in the United States and other countries as part of the settlement.

In January the company agreed to pay $4.3bn in US civil and criminal fines.

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