U.S. Judge extends VW diesel emissions settlement deadline

Wed Jun 15, 2016 8:46pm EDT
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By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. judge late on Wednesday extended the deadline for Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE: Quote), U.S. government regulators and owners of nearly 500,000 2.0 liter vehicles to reach a final diesel emissions settlement until June 28.

The tentative settlement announced in April includes an offer by VW to buy back nearly 500,000 polluting vehicles, as well as an environmental remediation fund to address excess emissions and a fund to promote green automotive technology.

In April, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer set a June 21 deadline to publicly file the final settlement but in the Wednesday order he agreed to extend the deadline by one week to complete the complex agreement.

Breyer said in a written order he was extending the deadline at the request of former FBI director Robert S. Mueller, who has been acting as the court-appointed mediator, and "given the highly technical nature of the proposed settlements in these complex proceedings."

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, California Air Resources Board, U.S. Justice Department, Federal Trade Commission and lawyers representing owners have been working for weeks to hammer out the final agreements.

Two sources briefed on the talks say the agreement is still on track to be finalized.

VW spokeswoman Jeannine Ginivan noted that the delay was at the request of the FBI's Mueller. "We thank our customers for their continued patience as the process of finalizing agreements moves forward," she said.

The settlement also will include an option to eventually get cars repaired if regulators approve a fix. Owners will get "substantial monetary compensation," Breyer said in April.   Continued...

The logo of German car maker Volkswagen is pictured at the company's stand during the Hannover Fair in Hanover, Germany, April 25, 2016.    REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay