UNITED STATES—On Monday, December 19, a federal judge granted a final extension for Volkswagen, U.S. regulators, and attorneys for car owners to reach a deal for over 80,000 vehicles involved in Volkswagen’s emissions scandal lawsuit.
U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer granted the request for a final extension until Tuesday, December 20. Judge Breyer stated the negotiation’s complicated details still needed to be worked out, but he remained optimistic that a settlement will be reached.
Last year, Volkswagen was exposed by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for fitting many of its cars with software to cheat emissions tests by recognizing when the cars were undergoing treadmill testing and would turn on pollution controls. Once the cars were on the road, the controls would turn off, allegedly allowing the cars to emit up to 40 times the nitrogen oxide limit. Volkswagen saw a decline in sales as a result of the information becoming public.
VW reached a settlement for 475,000 of the affected vehicles. The owners of the 2-liter diesel vehicles were given the option of Volkswagen paying for the repairs or the automaker purchasing the vehicle back at full trade-in prices as of September 18, 2015. Owners will also be paid by Volkswagen between $5,100 and $10,000, depending on the year of the car and if the owner had it prior to September 18, 2015.
Parties are hoping for an agreement to be reached on the remaining 80,000 3-liter diesel cars programmed to cheat the emissions tests. Robert Giuffra, an attorney for Volkswagen said the company believes it can perform a recall to fix the 3-liter vehicles.
Judge Breyer has asked both sides to give updates on a potential settlement before the extension deadline.