Volkswagen has made substantial progress toward reaching a settlement for the remaining 80,000 diesel-cheating cars polluting U.S. roads, a federal judge said.
U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer, who last week gave final approval to the carmaker’s settlement covering 480,000 Volkswagens with 2.0-liter engines, is pressing for a solution for vehicles with 3.0-liter engines.
On Thursday, Breyer told lawyers for VW, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Trade Commission and California Air Resource Board to report back to him on Dec. 1 on efforts to fix or buy back those cars.
Almost a year after the cheating was made public, VW still doesn’t have a fix for any of the 560,000 cars still polluting U.S. roads. Unlike drivers of the 2-liter vehicles who were permitted to seek a settlement before VW produced a remedy, their 3-liter counterparts have yet to receive that mandate.
The $14.7 billion agreement with car owners and the government calls for buying back or fixing 2-liter models. Volkswagen is also on the hook for $603 million that the company agreed to pay 44 states. VW has set aside $20.2 billion to cover the cost of repairs, fines and legal fees.
Since the EPA has yet to approve VW’s proposed remedies for the cars, it could be years before any of the vehicles are taken off U.S. roads, a possibility that may increase fines and penalties against VW.
Breyer asked consumers to be patient, saying he understood the “emotional strain and frustration” in not being able to deal with something so important to their daily lives.
“This is for many many people not only their major asset but also their principal necessity,” Breyer said.
Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter
Get the day's top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter