DETROIT (AP) – Volkswagen has pleaded guilty to cheating the U.S. government by using software to evade emission rules in nearly 600,000 diesel vehicles.
The German automaker pleaded guilty Friday to conspiracy, obstruction of justice and an import crime. It was represented in Detroit federal court by its general counsel, Manfred Doess.
The deal was made weeks ago. VW has agreed to pay a $4.3 billion penalty, although the scandal has cost the company about $21 billion.
The company admitted installing software that activated pollution controls during government tests and switched them off during regular driving.
U.S. regulators confronted VW about the software after West Virginia University researchers discovered differences in testing and real-world emissions. Volkswagen denied the use of the so-called defeat device but finally admitted it in September 2015.