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More Polluting U.S. Diesel Vehicles Agreed to be Fixed and Bought Back by VW

More Polluting U.S. Diesel Vehicles Agreed to be Fixed and Bought Back by VW
As Volkswagen AG took new steps to put its emissions cheating scandal behind it, the German automaker has agreed to a $1 billion settlement to fix or buy back another 80,000 polluting diesel vehicles sold in the United States.
Volkswagen has now agreed to spend as much as $17.5 billion in the United States to resolve claims from owners as well as federal and state regulators over polluting diesel vehicles means that the settlement deal covered luxury VW, Audi and Porsche vehicles with 3.0-liter engines.
In order to resolve a U.S. Justice Department criminal investigation and federal and state environmental claims, as well as oversight by a federal monitor, the world's No. 2 automaker still faces the possibility of spending billions of dollars more.
Hinrich Woebcken, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, said in a statement that the new agreement, settling part of litigation brought against VW by federal and California regulators, "is another important step forward in our efforts to make things right for our customers."
During a hearing in San Francisco, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer announced the settlement.
As the company works to finalize an agreement to provide what Breyer called "substantial compensation" to the owners of the 3.0-liter vehicles, Volkswagen also agreed to boost electric vehicle efforts in California and faces additional costs.
An earlier settlement worth about $15 billion with regulators and the U.S. owners of 475,000 polluting diesel vehicles with smaller 2.0-liter engines, including an offer to buy back all of the cars was approved by Breyer in October.
To settle civil allegations made by U.S. diesel vehicle owners has been agreed to in principle by German engineering company Robert Bosch GmbH, which produced the software for the VW diesels, Breyer also said. Bosch said it was not accepting liability nor admitting to the allegations made in the lawsuit by owners who said the company was a knowing and active participant in VW's emissions cheating scheme even though it confirmed that it had reached the agreement.
The settlement was expected to be worth more than $300 million, the media reported on Monday.
To cheat exhaust emissions tests and make them appear cleaner in testing than they really were, VW admitted in September 2015 to installing secret software known as "defeat devices" in 475,000 U.S. 2.0-liter diesel cars. In reality, the vehicles emitted up to 40 times the legally allowable pollution levels.
Accusations of using "defeat devices" in the 3.0-liter vehicles were also accepted by the company later. An undeclared auxiliary emissions system that allowed the vehicles to emit up to nine times allowable limits was present in the 80,000 3.0-liter U.S. vehicles.
The scandal hurt VW's global business and reputation, and led to its CEO's ouster.
Through programs like paying for school systems to buy newer, less-polluting buses to replace older ones, VW previously agreed to contribute $2.7 billion to a pollution reduction fund to make up for the excess emissions from its 2.0-liter diesel cars. To offset the excess emissions from its 3.0-liter diesel engines, VW agreed to contribute another $225 million to the fund to offset the excess emissions from its 3.0-liter diesel engines under the new settlement.
The costs of buybacks, fixes and diesel offsets agreed to by VW in the new settlement amounted to about $1 billion, estimated Cynthia Giles, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency assistant administrator.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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