JUNE DEADLINE: A US judge says Volkswagen and the owners affected by the firm's emissions scandal are making headway for their final settlement proposal. Image: AFP/ Julian Stratenschulte
San Francisco - Volkswagen and attorneys for vehicle owners affected by the company's emissions cheating scandal are on target to meet a June deadline for a final settlement proposal, a federal judge said Tuesday (May 24).
Senior US District Court Judge Charles Breyer said the parties have made substantial progress in reaching a deal for nearly half a million polluting Volkswagens in the US.
Buy back or repair the vehicles
Breyer announced a tentative agreement in April 2016 that would give owners the option of having Volkswagen buy back or repair their vehicles.
The judge did not provide any additional details about the ongoing talks.
The scandal erupted in September 2015 when it was learned that the German automaker had fitted many of its cars with software to fool emissions tests and had put dirty vehicles on the road. Car owners and the Justice Department sued.
VW, the US Department of Justice and attorneys for Volkswagen owners have until June 21 to file a final settlement with the court.
Compensation amount undecided
Many questions remain unanswered, including how much money owners can expect in a buyback and how much additional compensation beyond repairs and buybacks they'll receive.
Breyer has the authority to reject any final deal that the parties propose.
The tentative deal announced in April covered roughly 482 000 Volkswagens with 2.0-litre, four-cylinder diesel engines. It did not cover about 90 000 Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche diesel vehicles with 3.0-litre, six-cylinder engines.
Breyer said engineering studies and testing of those vehicles were ongoing. The tentative deal also did not cover potential fines and penalties.
Volkswagen said in a statement after the hearing that it was pleased that it continued to make progress in settlement talks, and it thanked US customers for their continued patience.