VOLKSWAGEN has agreed to take a series of steps costing about £6.89 billion to settle claims from its unprecedented diesel emissions cheating scandal in the US, sources say.
Most of the money would go to compensate 482,000 owners of cars with two-litre diesel engines that were programmed to turn on emissions controls during lab tests and turn them off while on the road, according to sources.
One of the sources said the agreement was tentative and could change by the time the terms are officially announced by a judge on Tuesday.
The bulk of the cash would be used to fix the cars, buy them back and compensate owners. Some funds would go to government agencies as penalties and for a programme to compensate for the environmental damage caused by pollution, it is said.
Owners would have a choice between selling their vehicles back to VW at the value before the scandal broke on September 18 2015, or keeping the cars and letting the company repair them for free. Either way, they would also get 1,000 US dollars (£675) to 7,000 US dollars (£4,729) depending on their cars’ age.
Lawyers representing owners, VW and government agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have not yet agreed on the steps VW will take to repair the cars, it was claimed.
Neither VW spokeswoman Jeannine Ginivan nor EPA spokesman Nick Conger would comment on the settlement.
Volkswagen owners filed dozens of lawsuits against VW after it acknowledged in September that it intentionally defeated emissions tests and put dirty vehicles on the road.
The company faces as much as £13.5 billion in fines for Clean Air Act violations alone, on top of paying to fix the cars or compensate their owners.
The settlement does not include three-litre Volkswagen diesels, which had another version of cheating software.
Full details of the settlement are scheduled to be released by Senior US District Court Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco.
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