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Luxury carmaker Porsche fined over diesel cheating

Luxury carmaker Porsche fined over diesel cheating
German prosecutors have ordered Volkswagen (VW) subsidiary Porsche to pay a €535 million ($598 million) fine for its part in the “Dieselgate” scandal.

Prosecutors in the southern city of Stuttgart said on Tuesday that the company’s development department had neglected its legal obligations, which ultimately led to the sale of diesel cars that spewed excessive pollution levels.

The carmaker had “abstained from a legal challenge” against the decision, they said. The fine does not hinder ongoing proceedings against individual people in relation to Porsche’s diesel manipulations, according to the prosecutors.

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Porsche confirmed the fine and said that prosecutors’ proceedings against the company had come to an end. It added that the cost of the fine was included in a provision for around €1 billion ($1.2 billion) booked by VW in the first quarter.

The fine against the sports car maker follows €1 billion ($1.2 billion) penalty for management lapses imposed against VW by prosecutors in Braunschweig. Last year, prosecutors in Munich hit Audi with a €800 million ($895 million) fine.

A Volkswagen spokesman told AFP on Tuesday that following the fines against the company, its high-end subsidiary Audi and now Porsche, no further investigations over “administrative offences” remain open against the group.

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Dieselgate has so far cost the car giant around €30 billion ($33.6 billion). Four years ago, VW admitted that it had fitted as many as 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide with software that could cheat emissions tests. In 2016, the company agreed to a $14.7 billion settlement with the US.

In April, German prosecutors brought charges against the company’s former chief executive Martin Winterkorn over his role in the diesel-emissions-cheating scandal. Winterkorn denied the accusations, saying he was unaware of the issue until shortly before it became public.

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