Update: Volkswagen has come to an agreement with the US government, and will supply "substantial compensation" to owners.
Details on the settlement are light, but Senior US District Judge Charles Breyer said that VW is responsible for offering to buy back nearly half a million affected vehicles, or pay to replace the errant engines, if regulators are groovy with it.
VW will also have to put up a fund for improving the environment in the wake of the pollutants its cars put on the road, as well as commit resources to promoting greener vehicles in the future. The company was until June to put together a finalized decree before its punishment is formally put into place.
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While Volkswagen strives to go green after its run-in with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), some owners of its cars could soon be seeing some green of their own.
The automaker has reportedly come to a compromise with the US government after getting busted for failing to meet EPA standards on a range of diesel vehicles.
The automaker may end up paying owners of cars that require adjustments a hefty sum – $5,000, to be exact – according to anonymous sources quoted in German newspaper Die Welt.
The settlement comes after revelations that VW cheated on government tests, with some of its cars emitting nearly 40 times more pollution than the legal limit.
By using software known as a defeat device, the cars appeared to meet EPA emissions standards during testing and were allowed on the road.
It was, of course, a lie, so now many VW Beetle, Jetta and Golf models made from 2009-2015 are expected to be recalled.
Volkswagen has until today to come up with a final plan to make things right with the US government. It's expected that the $5,000 settlement for customers will be a compensation payment, with Volkswagen paying separately to modify affected vehicles.
While the estimated $3 billion in payouts may be enough to appease consumers who will see their vehicles recalled, the company still faces hefty fines for its original environmental violations, estimated to be in the region of $18 billion.
Phew, talk about celebrating Earth Day with a vengeance.
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