VW, EPA expect not to unveil diesel settlement on Thursday: sources

Wed Mar 23, 2016 8:53pm EDT
 
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By David Shepardson

(Reuters) - Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE: Quote) was not expected to unveil an agreement Thursday with U.S. regulators at a federal court hearing in California on how to address excess emissions in 580,000 diesel vehicles, two sources briefed on the negotiations said on Wednesday.

The German automaker has been in talks for months with the U.S. Justice Department, Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board (CARB) over how to address the excess emissions.

U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer last month set a March 24 deadline for Volkswagen to state whether it has found an emissions fix that is acceptable to U.S. regulators.

Volkswagen and regulators are likely to tell Breyer they are making good progress toward reaching a deal, but have not reached an agreement, the sources said, adding that a potential deal could still be weeks away.

VW has been in talks with regulators about how to address the issue, including a potential buyback offer for an unknown number of vehicles along with possible financial incentives for owners to get their vehicles repaired.

One central issue is whether the EPA will accept a fix that does not completely address excess on-road emissions. EPA spokeswoman Laura Allen declined to comment on that question, or the status of the talks.

Earlier this month, a California official said the state may allow partially repaired Volkswagen diesel cars to continue operating on its roads because a full fix may be impossible.

The cars are equipped with "defeat devices" that allow them to pass laboratory emissions tests despite exceeding federal standards by up to 40 times when they are driven on roads.   Continued...

 
A flag of a Volkswagen VW car dealer is seen in Bochum, Germany March 16,2016.  REUTERS/Ina Fassbender