FRANKFURT -- Volkswagen Group has agreed to pay 9 million euros ($9.9 million) in a deal with a German court to end legal proceedings against its CEO and chairman, who were accused of holding back market-moving information on rigged emissions tests.
The court in Brunswick in VW's home state of Lower Saxony was hearing charges of stock market manipulation against CEO Herbert Diess, as well as non-executive Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch.
VW in September 2015 admitted using illegal software to cheat U.S. diesel engine tests, battering its share price. Prosecutors had accused Diess and Poetsch of a delay in informing investors of the company’s wrongdoing.
In a statement on Tuesday, VW said it believes the charges were unfounded but "it was in the automaker's interest that the proceedings be terminated."
It said Diess and Poetsch did not violate any laws or their fiduciary duties toward VW. The company, and not the former defendants, would therefore pay the fine, it said. The fine amounts to 4.5 million euros for each executive
Poetsch in 2015 was VW's finance chief. Diess was head of the VW brand at the time.
The scandal over engine control devices that mask excessive nitrogen oxide emissions has so far cost Volkswagen more than 30 billion euros ($33 billion) in damages and regulatory fines, mainly imposed in the United States.
The Brunswick court said a case against Martin Winterkorn, who was VW Group CEO at the time of the scandal, is still pending on charges of fraud and other offenses.