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Volkswagen and US authorities reach agreement in principle over diesel violations

25 April 2016

Volkswagen reached an agreement in principle with the US Department of Justice (DOJ), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the California Air Resources Board (ARB), and with the involvement of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), to settle the diesel emission violations. This agreement in principle will be incorporated into binding consent decrees by the DOJ and the FTC in the coming weeks, said Volkswagen.

The agreement, announced on 21 April 2016 by US District Judge Charley Breyer in a court hearing in San Francisco, addresses the approximately 482,000 2.0-liter diesel VW and Audi vehicles involved in VW’s emissions scandal. Under the agreement, Volkswagen will offer affected owners several options, including a buyback, lease cancellation, and—pending additional EPA testing and approval—the option to have their vehicles modified. The deal will also include “substantial compensation” for the affected owners regardless of which option they choose, said Judge Breyer. VW also agreed to establish a fund to re-mediate environmental damage caused by the excess NOx emissions.

Judge Breyer did not disclose any financial terms, and ordered lawyers for all parties not to disclose details until they are finalized. The consent decree must be submitted to the court by June 21. The consent decree will be made public and is subject to public comment and court approval.

The agreement does not cover any Justice Department’s fines, and does not apply to the 80,000 3.0 liter V6 engines used in VW, Porsche, and Audi models. Judge Breyer said he expected that these issues will be addressed “expeditiously”.

The deal does not affect the Justice Department’s criminal probe into VW’s actions, or the ongoing investigation of state attorneys general.

Source: Volkswagen