Haslam: VW adding jobs in Tennessee despite $4.3B settlement

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - Republican Gov. Bill Haslam says Volkswagen officials have assured him that the German automaker's expansion plans in Tennessee remain on track despite an agreement to pay $4.3 billion in federal criminal and civil fines.

Haslam said in a statement Wednesday that the settlement "won't restrict in any way their capital expansion plans in Chattanooga." The governor said that Volkswagen has in fact committed to adding even more jobs at their only U.S. plant, but did not elaborate on the number of new positions.

Volkswagen's Tennessee factory opened in 2011, but sales of the midsized Passat had already begun to slide before revelations about Volkswagen's diesel emissions cheating scandal emerged in 2015. The plant has begun making the new Atlas SUV that Volkswagen is counting on to help recover market share.