Volkswagen has been ordered to pay a $2.8billion criminal penalty in the United States for cheating on diesel emissions tests - the largest fine ever imposed by the government on an automaker. Federal Judge Sean Cox called the cheating "a case of deliberate, massive fraud perpetrated by VW management" and a "failure of the VW supervisory board".
The sentence was ordered six weeks after VW pleaded guilty to conspiracy and obstruction of justice. It has admitted that nearly 600,000 diesel cars in the US were fitted with software to switch engines to a cleaner mode when they were being tested for emissions.
VW is also paying $1.5billion in a civil case brought by the government and spending $11billion to buy back cars and offer compensation. Seven employees have been charged over the scandal.
The car maker must now be regretting its failure to have proper systems in place that would have ensured that no one would be able to perpetrate such a fraud.