In a move that seemed like an inevitability at this point, the United States Department of Justice is said to have opened a criminal investigation into Volkswagen’s admission to cheating on diesel emissions tests, a report from Bloomberg said.
While we had heard rumblings of a possible criminal probe earlier, this news appears to confirm that VW is in fact the subject of an investigation that could lead to prosecutions.
It’s way too early to tell whether or not any individuals will personally be held criminally liable for the company’s deceptions, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility. We haven’t seen a case in a long time where a company has admitted intentionally circumventing the law, rather than just a plea of massive institutional incompetence, so it’s anyone’s guess as to what will happen.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has said that the company can be held responsible for up to $18 billion in fines.
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