People, Environment

VW Moves Toward Settlement

VW Moves Toward Settlement
VW Moves Toward Settlement

Volkswagen AG has made substantial progress toward reaching a final settlement by late June with car owners and the US government over the German automaker’s cheating on diesel emissions tests, a federal judge says.

US District Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco also reiterated on Tuesday that a settlement will include ‘substantial compensation’ for owners of 482,000 polluting vehicles that emit up to 40 times legally allowable pollution, Reuters reported.

Breyer said lawyers for owners suing Volkswagen and the US Justice Department, Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Trade Commission and the company were on track to file the final proposed settlements by June 21.

The ‘parties ... have reported that in the month since we last met they have made substantial progress in intensive daily efforts to finalize the agreement, and most importantly are on track to meet the court’s deadline,’ Breyer said.

Breyer said engineering studies and testing were continuing toward a resolution for the owners of 80,000 larger 3.0 liter vehicles but offered no timetable. The vehicles emit up to 9 times legally allowable pollution.

The so-called Dieselgate scandal, which has hurt VW’s global business as well as its reputation, erupted last September after the world’s No 2 carmaker admitted using sophisticated secret software in its cars to cheat exhaust emissions tests.

VW agreed on April 21 to a framework settlement with US authorities to buy back or potentially fix about half a million cars fitted with illegal test-fixing software, and set up environmental and consumer compensation funds.

The next day, Volkswagen said it would set aside 16.2 billion euro ($18 billion) to cover the costs from the scandal and slash its dividend.