US court to rule on Volkswagen's 14.7-billion-dollar emissions deal

A US federal district court judge will decide on Tuesday whether a billion-dollar settlement offer from Volkswagen is enough to end some of the German carmaker's US legal woes in the wake of its emissions cheating affair.

Judge Charles Breyer was set to consider the 14.7-billion-dollar settlement deal during a hearing in San Francisco.

Under the deal, which VW agreed to last month, the German carmaker would spend up to 10 billion dollars buying back or repairing about 475,000 2-litre diesel cars from Volkswagen and Audi equipped with software that manipulated vehicle emissions during official testing.

VW has also agreed to compensate owners between 5,100 and 10,000 dollars each. In addition, the carmaker will spend 2.7 billion dollars to support environmental projects, with an additional 2 billion dollars earmarked for research on reducing emissions.

The agreement must be approved by Breyer, who has been overseeing lawsuits filed against Volkswagen by US consumers, before it can come into force.

Meanwhile, the fallout in Germany continued Tuesday with prosecutors adding four more people to the list of those implicated in the software emissions scandal, bringing the total number of defendants up to 21. "Just as before, no board members are included in this group," prosecutor Klaus Ziehe told dpa.

VW hopes Breyer's approval of the US deal would help the firm turn a corner in the scandal, which emerged last September when the carmaker admitted to installing so-called "defeat devices" that manipulated emissions test results in 11 million vehicles worldwide.

Following Breyer's approval the complainants can decide whether or not to accept the offer, which was agreed to after months of talks.

A positive outcome in the San Francisco court would add to a series of recent financial successes for Volkswagen.

Figures released Monday by the German Center of Automotive Management data collection group showed sales of VW brands, including Audi and Porsche, outpacing rivals Toyota and General Motors during the first half of the year.

The group is due to release the details of its half-year results on Thursday.

Last update: Tue, 26/07/2016 - 16:59

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