Volkswagen gets sentenced... to probation

It must also pay a $2.8 billion fine and agree to independent oversight.

Volkswagen still has a long and dirty road ahead of it.
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Volkswagen has been sentenced for its role in Dieselgate, and the sentence is... not too bad.

Volkswagen AG was sentenced to three years of probation and independent oversight as a result of its diesel emissions scandal. Not only did US District Judge Sean Cox hand down that punishment in Detroit, he also approved a $2.8 billion criminal fine.

The automaker did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

I don't even know how you'd fit the world's second largest automaker in jail. Would have to be a pretty big jail.

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Reuters reports that former Deputy US Attorney General Larry Thompson will serve as Volkswagen's independent monitor, who will work to ensure that Volkswagen plays it straight for the next three years.

Cox also rejected additional restitution requests from individual VW customers. Volkswagen has already started its buyback scheme, which involves paying pre-Dieselgate prices for over-polluting diesels, as well as compensating owners to the tune of thousands of dollars above that repurchase price.

Volkswagen ended up in hot water after it decided to cheat its way through emissions regulations. Certain TDI diesel vehicles were equipped with software meant to determine a testing environment and purposefully curb particulate emissions. Once out on the road, though, the cars would pollute well in excess of legal limits.

Thus far, Volkswagen has agreed to spend about $25 billion remedying its misdeeds. Some of it is going toward the buyback, and other chunks are set aside for environmental remediation and creating programs to help increase EV adoption.