Volkswagen will offer “substantial compensation” and auto buy-back deals in the US as part of a settlement of the diesel emissions scandal. Just about a year ago, US regulators found that VW autos were fitted with programming that could twist emissions tests. Details of the preliminary agreement were announced in a California court. US district court Judge Charles Breyer said the settlement would include a buyback offer for nearly 500,000 2.0-litre vehicles. Judge Breyer said VW would likewise pay into an environmental fund and confer other money to advance green auto innovation.

Volkswagen told its shareholders a year ago it had put aside $7.3 billion to settle the potential expenses of a review or administrative punishments, however that figure could rise. The organization faces as much as $20 billion in fines for Clean Air Act infringement alone. “Volkswagen is committed to winning back the trust of its customers, its dealers, its regulators and all of America,” said VW lawyer Robert Giuffra. The agreements are “an important step forward on the road to making things right,” he added. The firm said in a statement that it “intends to compensate its customers fully and to remediate any impact on the environment from excess diesel emissions”.

It said an arrangement on a fundamental level had been come to with the Justice Department, the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board. It added that it had “reached an agreement on the basic features of a settlement with the class action plaintiffs in the lawsuit in San Francisco. This agreement will be incorporated into a comprehensive settlement in the coming weeks”.

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