Volkswagen has been fined €1bn (£880m) over diesel emissions cheating in what amounts to one of the highest ever fines imposed by German authorities against a company.
The scandal, which came to light in the United States in 2015, has already cost the German automaker $20 billion in fines and civil settlements in the U.S.
The fine is among the largest imposed on a company in Germany's history, according to the prosecutor in the case, and it shows that the German automaker is still dealing with the fallout from a persistent pattern of lying to regulators. "Volkswagen is committed to its responsibility for the diesel crisis and sees this as another important step to its management", it said in a statement.
Munich prosecutors this week widened an emissions cheating probe into VW's luxury brand Audi to include Chief Executive Rupert Stadler among the suspects accused of fraud and false advertising.
The prosecutor's office said in a statement it had "ascertained a violation of supervisory duties", adding that the fine did not address civil claims or claims by vehicle owners. "Volkswagen assumes that such termination of the proceedings will also have significant positive effects on further active administrative proceedings in Europe against the Volkswagen AG and its subsidiaries".
"We must plan for interruptions to production in the third quarter", VW chief executive Herbert Diess told workers.
Poetsch, also CEO of VW's majority stakeholder Porsche SE (PSHG_p.DE), is separately being investigated by prosecutors in Stuttgart over the same suspicions.
Just a year after being smacked with a $4 billion fine by the USA government, VW is getting handed a 1 billion euro fine by the German government for its diesel emissions cheating.