Volkswagen ordered to pay $2.8 billion in US diesel emissions scandal

FILE - In this Sept. 21, 2015, file photo, a Volkswagen logo is seen on car offered for sale at New Century Volkswagen dealership in Glendale, Calif. Volkswagen is facing a deadline of Monday, Dec. 19, 2016, to tell a federal judge in San Francisco whether it has reached a deal with U.S. regulators and attorneys for car owners on the remaining 80,000 diesel vehicles that cheated on emissions tests. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

DETROIT (AP) – Volkswagen has been ordered to pay a $2.8 billion criminal penalty in the United States for cheating on diesel emissions tests.

Federal Judge Sean Cox in Detroit followed the deal negotiated by VW and the U.S. Justice Department. The sentence was ordered Friday, six weeks after the German automaker pleaded guilty to conspiracy and obstruction of justice.

VW admits that nearly 600,000 diesel cars in the U.S. were programmed to turn on pollution controls during testing and off while on the road.

VW attorney Jason Weinstein says the criminal fine is an “appropriate and serious sanction.”

Separately, VW is paying $1.5 billion in a civil case brought by the government and spending $11 billion to buy back cars and offer other compensation. Seven employees have also been charged.

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