Volkswagen Closing in on Deadline
Volkswagen the Germany-based automaker is nearing a deadline to present to a San Francisco federal judge whether or not it reached a deal with regulators in the U.S. and the attorney for owners of vehicles of the more than 80,000 vehicles that remain in the emissions scandal.
The deadline is Monday December 19. VW must tell the judge if it reached the agreement or not.
The judge gave both sides additional time to carry out negotiations by postponing on two occasions a hearing last Friday to update him of a possible settlement. The judge said the two parties made significant progress and that he was optimistic a resolution would be reached between them.
The negotiations have a goal of hammering out a decision over what VW will do about the more than 80,000 diesel cars that had been programmed with cheating software. An attorney for VW said the company says it could recall as well as fix the vehicles without changing their performance.
The automaker had reached an agreement previously for the other polluting autos that numbered 475,000 that were involved in the scandal.
That agreement gives the owners of those diesel cars the option of having VW buy their vehicles back regardless of their condition for a full price trade in as of September 18 of last year when the scandal first broke or to pay to have the repairs done on the software.
VW will also pay the car owners between $5,100 and $10,000 apiece depending upon the car’s age and if the owner had the vehicle prior to the scandal breaking in September.
VW has agreed it would spend as much as $10 billion to compensate the consumer.
The scandal erupted globally in 2015 when the Environmental Protection Agency in the U.S. said that the German automaker fitted a number of its vehicles with cheating software that fooled the emissions tests.
Vehicle owners and the Department of Justice then sued the automaker.
The software was able to recognize when the vehicle was undergoing a test for emissions and would turn on its pollution controls.
Those controls would then be turned off when the vehicle returned to true road conditions and not the test treadmill.
The EPA then alleged that the scheme let the vehicle emit as must as 40 times the legal limit for nitrogen oxide, which causes respiratory problems for humans.
The scandal damaged the reputation of VW and hurt sales. The company reached another separate deal of $1.2 billion with car dealers in the U.S. and faces yet billions more in penalties and fines and criminal charges are possible.