17 April 2024

Settlement Reached In US Claim Regarding Volkswagen's Emissions Failings

Rahman Ravelli Solicitors


Rahman Ravelli is known for its sophisticated, bespoke and robust representation of corporates, senior business executives and professionals in national and international matters.
It is one of the fastest-growing and most highly-regarded, market-leading legal practices in its field. This is due to its achievements in criminal and regulatory investigations and large-scale commercial disputes involving corporate wrongdoing and multi-jurisdictional enforcement, and its asset recovery, internal investigations and compliance expertise.
The firm’s global reach, experienced litigators and network of trusted partner firms ensure it can address legal matters for clients anywhere in the world. It combines astute business intelligence and shrewd legal expertise with proactive, creative strategies to secure the best possible outcome for all its clients.
Rahman Ravelli’s achievements in certain cases have even helped shape the law. It is regularly engaged by other law firms to provide independent advice.

Niall Hearty of Rahman Ravelli summarises the settling of a claim relating to the Dieselgate scandal.
United States Criminal Law
To print this article, all you need is to be registered or login on

Niall Hearty of Rahman Ravelli summarises the settling of a claim relating to the Dieselgate scandal.

A district court in California has approved a $49 million settlement to resolve a lawsuit brought against a US subsidiary of Volkswagen over the Dieselgate scandal.

The settlement resolves a civil claim that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) brought against Volkswagen Group, two subsidiaries and ex-CEO Martin Winterkorn in 2019.

The claim was for allegedly failing to disclose the carmaker's use of illegal software in its diesel cars to cheat emissions tests and bypass US environmental regulations. The SEC had alleged that Volkswagen had defrauded US investors in connection with the emissions test cheating.

The California court granted the SEC's request to dismiss related claims against the Volkswagen parent company and Winterkorn.

This latest settlement, which includes no admission of wrongdoing, comes seven years after Volkswagen agreed to pay $4.3 billion and admitted violating the United States' Clean Air Act by using emissions test cheating devices in millions of its vehicles.


Emissions test fraud was a relatively new concept when the Dieselgate scandal hit the headlines in 2015. But it has proved as damaging to Volkswagen as any more conventional form of fraud could have been.

The recently-concluded settlement (and the whole scandal) are a harsh reminder of the damage that a company can suffer if it fails to prevent any form of fraud in the workplace. While emissions fraud may not be commonplace, the damage it has done to Volkswagen's finances and reputation show the impact it can have.

Whether it be to prevent emissions fraud or any other kind of fraud, companies have to put in place procedures to identify and tackle the potential for such wrongdoing, in whatever form it may take.

Emissions testing fraud is, arguably, unique due to the number of people it affects. The fraud has been committed against those who test and monitor emissions, the organisations they work for and the consumers who will have been misled by false data.


The fall-out from this particular scandal has certainly forced Volkswagen to reassess its working practices. Any such reassessment has to involve changes to procedures to remove the potential for fraud. It also requires the development of an anti-fraud culture, where employees are made aware of the need to identify and report possible fraud.

Such compliance measures are essential if a company is to remain within the law. Some companies may believe they do not possess the expertise to devise and introduce such measures. If that is the case, they need to seek assistance from those who can do it for them. If the Volkswagen case proves anything, it is that companies will pay a high price if they fail to prevent fraud.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

See More Popular Content From

Mondaq uses cookies on this website. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies as set out in our Privacy Policy.

Learn More