Bosch settles emissions cheating probe for $100M

by Bamidele Ogunberu Posted on May 23rd, 2019

Automotive supplier Bosch has agreed to pay a 90 million euros ($100.21 million) fine for lapses in supervisory duties which enabled carmakers to engage in emissions cheating involving rigged diesel engines, German prosecutors in the city of Stuttgart said on Thursday. This follows much more costly settlements by its customer Volkswagen AG.

Bosch is being fined for “negligent breach of supervision duties,” the prosecutor’s office in Stuttgart said. The company supplied about 17 million engine-control devices to German and international automakers since 2008 that partly included illegal software functions, according to the statement.

The unlisted German car-parts giant supplied engine-control systems to VW that were used in the engines at the heart of the diesel-emissions scandal that shattered the world’s largest automaker in September 2015. It’s also involved in ongoing probes into diesel technology at manufacturers including Fiat Chrysler NV and General Motors Co.

VW Porsche Unit Settles German Diesel Probe for $599 Million

VW has now ended all probes by German prosecutors against its units over the sale of rigged cars. It last year settled with Braunschweig investigators for 1 billion euros and Audi followed by paying 800 million euros to Munich prosecutors. The overall impact of the diesel crisis has now reached 30 billion euros at Volkswagen.

The initiative to install illicit software in engines was apparently taken by employees from automakers, but investigations into the roles of individual Bosch employees are ongoing, the prosecutor’s office said.

Bosch confirmed the settlement and said 2 million euros of the fine are for the alleged regulatory offense and 88 million euros for the disgorgement of economic benefits.

Bosch said, “With the issue of the notice of fine, the investigations conducted by the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Stuttgart against Bosch as a supplier of engine control units for diesel engines has been completed.”

“Bosch will continue to expand its compliance organization continuously in order to minimize the risk of violations of applicable law occurring at the company,” the company said.

Volkswagen used Bosch software elements to help the carmaker mask illegal pollution in diesel-engined vehicles. Engine management software was used to measure the steering wheel angle to gauge whether the car was on a test bench.

Volkswagen has borne the brunt of penalties and fines for emissions cheating since carmakers, rather than suppliers are responsible for certifying that cars meet clean air rules.

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