Important to look at individuals in VW scandal: Lynch

United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch speaks to Reuters in an exclusive interview in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S., June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Nancy Wiechec

PHOENIX (Reuters) - U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said on Tuesday that it was important for the Justice Department to look at individuals in the ongoing criminal investigation into the Volkswagen VOWG_p.DE emissions scandal.

Asked whether she would like to see company executives held accountable for the company’s wrongdoing, Lynch told Reuters:

“What’s important for us in every case, including this case, is to look at those individuals and see what if anything will be resolved with regards to them.”

Under a settlement announced on Tuesday, the German automaker will pay as much as $15.3 billion after admitting it cheated on U.S. diesel emissions tests for years, agreeing to buy back vehicles from consumers and provide funding that could benefit makers of cleaner technologies.

Lynch said U.S. justice officials will be looking at everyone involved in the making of VW decisions in the emissions scandal.

“Certainly it relates to every case, that when it comes to corporate wrongdoing whether it is civil or criminal, that the Department of Justice will be looking at everyone who was involved in making those decisions and in implementing the actions that led to the liability that we have found,” she said in an interview in Phoenix.

VW admitted in September that it installed secret software that allowed U.S. vehicles to emit up to 40 times legally allowable pollution.

Reporting by Julia Edwards; Writing by Eric Walsh and Alistair Bell; Editing by Howard Goller