German carmaker Opel pays 65-mln-euro fine in diesel scandal

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BERLIN, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- German carmaker Opel paid a fine of 64.8 million euros (75.5 million U.S. dollars) over the manipulation of diesel exhaust emission levels and thus avoided legal proceedings, the Frankfurt public prosecutor's office announced on Tuesday.

The investigation against Opel had already been concluded in February with an associative fine for breaching documentation requirements. "The fine has since been paid," a spokesperson of the Frankfurt public prosecutor's office confirmed to Xinhua on Tuesday.

Investigations by the public prosecutor's office regarding the emission control of older diesel models were "concluded with the receipt of a penalty notice for a negligent breach of administrative law," an Opel spokesperson confirmed to Xinhua.

The penalty notice did "not contain any allegation of an intentional act or a criminal offense, in particular no fraud. It also does not contain a finding of an illegal defeat device," the Opel spokesperson added.

Public charges for fraud and indirect false certification against four managers of Opel were dropped for fines of between 5,000 and 10,000 euros, payable to charitable institutions. Proceedings against two other Opel employees were dropped without further conditions due to minor culpability.

Germany's largest car manufacturer Volkswagen, which involuntarily triggered the so-called Dieselgate scandal in September 2015, already paid 32 billion euros in fines, compensation and court costs, largely in the United States.

In Germany, a mass lawsuit ended in a settlement of more than 240,000 cases in June last year. Volkswagen paid out more than 750 million euros to customers whose cars were affected. A separate lawsuit against former Volkswagen managers including former CEO Martin Winterkorn is expected to run until 2023. (1 euro = 1.16 U.S. dollar) Enditem

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