Audi agrees to pay R13bn fine to settle emission case

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Volkswagen AG’s Audi unit will pay a fine of $927m (R13bn) to settle an investigation by German prosecutors into the carmaker’s cheating on emissions regulation.

The penalty, which Audi accepted and won’t appeal, consists of €5m (about R82m) for regulatory offenses, with the remainder a repayment of economic benefits as a result of the cheating, Audi said on Tuesday in a statement. The investigation by Munich prosecutors targeted V6 and V8 diesel engines.

Volkswagen shares rose 3% at 11:11 in Frankfurt, even as both Audi and its parent said the fine would hurt their financial performance this year. The stock is down 11% this year.

The settlement concludes a long-running probe of Volkswagen’s deliberate cheating to circumvent diesel emissions regulation, uncovered in 2015. Since then, the carmaker has struggled to get past the scandal. Former Audi Chief Executive Officer Rupert Stadler has been in custody since June after allegedly tampering with a witness in the investigation.

The settlement covers about five million cars sold in Europe and the US, from 2004 to 2018. They consist V6 and V8 engines used in Audi, VW and Porsche brands as well as engine types EA 189 and 288 used in Audi models.

Probes against individuals, including former CEO Stadler, aren’t touched by the deal, Munich prosecutors said in an statement.

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