VW reaches agreement on fixes, buybacks for 80,000 polluting U.S. diesels

Tue Nov 15, 2016 11:52am EST
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By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE: Quote) has reached an agreement with U.S. regulators for a mix of buybacks and fixes for 80,000 polluting Audi, Porsche and VW 3.0-liter vehicles, two sources briefed on the matter said Tuesday.

The agreement includes a buyback offer for about 20,000 older Audi and VW SUVs and a software fix for 60,000 newer Porsche, Audi and VW cars and SUVs, the sources said. A separate, more complex fix is expected to be offered for the older vehicles. Talks are ongoing between lawyers for the owners and Volkswagen over compensation for the owners ahead of a Nov. 30 court hearing.

The agreement is a major step toward Volkswagen resolving its outstanding diesel emission issues in the United States - after it reached a separate $10.03-billion buyback offer for 475,000 2.0-liter vehicles in June.

Volkswagen has already agreed to spend up to $16.5 billion to resolve U.S. diesel emissions cheating allegations, including the 2.0-liter buyback offer.

Audi said it is still working closely with regulators "to reach an agreement on an approved resolution" ahead of a Nov. 30 court hearing, but declined to comment on confidential talks.

Elizabeth Cabraser, the lead attorney for the owners, said in a statement that any agreement between owners and the company should offer all 3.0-liter owners a choice between a buyback or a fix if approved by regulators.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency declined to comment Wednesday.

"While an agreement between the EPA and Volkswagen may address some of the environmental damage, it does not hold the company accountable for the harm caused to consumers. We will continue to pursue a fair resolution on their behalf," she said.   Continued...

A VW sign is seen outside a Volkswagen dealership in London, Britain, November 5, 2015.  REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett/File photo