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VW Close to Settling $2b US Lawsuit

VW Close to Settling $2b US LawsuitVW Close to Settling $2b US Lawsuit

Volkswagen is close to a $2 billion settlement deal after a US criminal investigation into the emissions-cheating scandal. A settlement is crucial to VW’s aim of rebuilding in the US, a key part of its long-term plans.

A settlement between the US Department of Justice and the German auto giant could come as early as next week, Deutsche Welle reported.

VW also won long-awaited approval from the Environmental Protection Agency to fix an estimated 70,000 diesel vehicles.

A second phase of the fix will start about a year from now when VW will install more software updates and new hardware, including a diesel particulate filter, diesel oxidation catalyst and NOx catalyst.

The remedy will fix 2015 models of the Volkswagen Beetle, Beetle Convertible, Golf, Golf SportWagen, Jetta and Passat as well as the Audi A3. The EPA and Volkswagen say the fix won’t affect the cars’ fuel economy, reliability or driving characteristics.

VW has already settled civil charges in the scandal, agreeing to pay $14.7 billion (13.95 billion euros) in an agreement that permits owners of nearly a half million 2.0-liter diesel vehicles to sell them back or get them fixed.

The company said in December it had reached an additional $1 billion civil agreement with US authorities for a similar deal covering 80,000 3.0-liter diesel vehicles, an agreement yet to be approved by a judge.

Prosecutors and VW have said they want to resolve the case before President Barack Obama leaves office on January 20. If a deal is not reached before then it could significantly delay an agreement.

VW faces ongoing lawsuits from at least 19 US states and a judge ruled this week it must face investor lawsuits in a California court.

Volkswagen brand sales fell 8% in 2016; overall industry sales were flat. But Audi sales were less affected, rising 4% for the year.

 

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