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Germany slaps Bosch with $100 million fine for role in Dieselgate

As a control-unit supplier, Germany believes Bosch shares some of the blame.

Considering just how hard this hammer has been coming down, I can't imagine an automaker would possess the hubris to try this or any similar scheme again in the future.
Sebastian Kahnert/Picture Alliance/Getty Images

It takes a village to raise a child, and it apparently takes both automakers and suppliers to commit to one seriously large emissions-cheating scandal.

German prosecutors have levied a 90 million euro (about $100 million) fine against supplier Bosch for its role in diesel cheating, Reuters reports. Of that total sum, 2 million euros (about $2.2 million) is for a "regulatory offense," while the remainder of the fine was a penalty for "economic benefits," likely referring to the profit Bosch made on selling this hardware to VW Group, which it used to hoodwink governments around the world.

"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," said a Bosch spokesperson in an emailed statement. "Bosch waives the filing of objections to the notice of fine. Thus, the regulatory offense proceedings have been completed and the decision is final and unappealable."

In a statement to Reuters, Stuttgart prosecutors said that Bosch was responsible for some 17 million computers that eventually held software that helped Volkswagen Group cheat on emissions tests. The engine management software could tell if the car was in a regulatory test by measuring steering angle and curtailing emissions during the process. Once the car was out on the road, though, it would emit more than the legally allowed amount of tailpipe pollutants.

While this is a big hit for Bosch, Volkswagen has been on the receiving end of much, much more. Both the US and German governments have tried and jailed people for their role in the scandal, and VW Group paid some $25 billion in the US alone for its malfeasance. Some of that money has been in the form of fines, while other expenses have covered buyback schemes, payments to affected customers and environmental remediation efforts. It was also compelled to create Electrify America, a VW subsidiary meant to promote zero-emission technology, in part through the massive EV charging network it's building.

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