VW reaches $1 billion deal in 3.0-litre diesel case

SAN FRANCISCO: Volkswagen has reached a $1 billion agreement with US authorities on a compensation deal for the last 80,000 vehicles affected by its emissions-cheating scandal in the United States, officials said on Tuesday.
However, a Justice Department official said a criminal investigation is ongoing, and charges may still be filed against the company — which could bring new penalties.
Nor does the agreement settle the civil lawsuit brought by car owners, which US Judge Charles Breyer said is close to resolution and would involve “substantial compensation.”
Another hearing on Thursday could provide further details of that case.
The agreement announced on Tuesday, which still needs a judicial green light, would apply to 2009-2016 3.0-litre diesel models including Porsche and Audi vehicles equipped with software designed to defeat emissions tests.
The $1 billion amount will cover buyback, repair and cancelled leases for the affected models, as well as $225 million for a fund to mitigate pollution, Cynthia Giles, a senior official with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), told reporters.
At the end of October, a US court endorsed a record-setting $15 billion compensation deal covering almost half a million 2.0-litre VW diesel cars.
The new agreement “is another important step forward in our efforts to make things right for our customers,” a Volkswagen spokeswoman said in a statement. “We are committed to earning back the trust of all our stakeholders.”
Volkswagen has admitted to installing defeat device technology on 11 million cars, including 600,000 in the US. The software detects when the car is being tested and turns on required emissions controls, but turns them off during normal driving conditions.
This means the cars would emit up to nine times or more above the required limits of pollutants. US Assistant Attorney General John Cruden called the settlement “another significant step in holding Volkswagen accountable for cheating Americans out of the promise of cleaner air by selling vehicles equipped with defeat devices.”— AFP