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US judge optimistic of VW emissions deal

December 17, 2016

A San Francisco judge has reported "substantial progress" in negotiations between US authorities and the German carmaker. Volkswagen has been rocked by an emissions scandal affecting up to 11 million vehicles worldwide.

Volkswagen logo and the American flag
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/F. Gentsch

A US federal judge on Friday said he was optimistic about reaching an agreement with German carmaker Volkswagen concerning 80,000 3.0-liter engine models affected by illicit software that defeats emissions tests.

"I'm pleased to report that there has been substantial progress and I'm optimistic that there will be a resolution of this matter," said US District Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco during a briefing.

The US court endorsed a record-setting $15 billion (14.35 billion-euro) compensation deal that covers nearly 500,000 2.0-liter Volkswagen diesel vehicles equipped with the software.

However, the deal did not include the 3.0-liter engine models. The company has negotiated with US authorities to reach an agreement on compensation, which could include a buyback program or the replacement of some components of the vehicles.

A new hearing has been scheduled for Monday to review proposals made by Europe's largest carmaker.

In September 2015, Volkswagen was rocked by revelations that several of its diesel models included software that deliberately cheated emissions tests. The ensuing scandal led to former VW executive Martin Winterkorn's stepping down.

The German carmaker has admitted that up to 11 million vehicles across globe included the illicit software.

ls/mm (AFP, dpa)