The guilty plea entered Friday is in addition to $17.5 billion that the company already agreed to pay in settlements with vehicle owners, dealers and for environmental cleanup.
VW admitted to using secret software in vehicles to enable it to beat emissions tests. It has set aside $23.9 billion to cover cheating-related expenses, with the largest share going to compensate US consumers. Six executives are also facing charges in the U.S. One was arrested, and the other five are likely in Germany.
Judge Sean Cox in a U.S. District Court in Detroit accepted the plea but postponed agreeing to proposed fines and terms of a settlement. Cox said he wants more time to review the case's settlement agreement, which calls for a $4.3 billion fine. Before the formal hearing, the company signed a plea deal with prosecutors in January.
Volkswagen has also admitted lying to investigators to cover up the scheme.
According to Automotive news, the company has already agreed to new audits and oversight.
"Volkswagen deeply regrets the behavior that gave rise to the diesel crisis", the company said in an emailed statement after the hearing. The agreements that we have reached with the USA government reflect our determination to address misconduct that went against all the values Volkswagen holds so dear.
Volkswagen pleaded guilty to charges of fraud, obstruction of justice and for misrepresenting the capability of vehicles with diesel engines it imported into the U.S.
The software was first detected during independent analysis by researchers at West Virginia University who were working with the International Council on Clean Transportation, a non-governmental organization.
Schmidt was arrested while on vacation in Florida.
Volkswagen came to an agreement to actually change the way it generally operates in the USA and also the other countries under settlement of charges that it set up some secret software in almost 580K vehicles in the U.S for allowing them to easily emit up to forty times the amount of legally permitted pollution.