US authorities extend deadline for Volkswagen in ‘dieselgate’ scandal

Agence France-Presse
A San Francisco district court gives the German carmaker until June 28 to present its plan to compensate US car owners

'DIESELGATE.' An exterior view of the San Francisco Federal Courthouse where US Justice Department officials and attorneys representing Volkswagen appeared in a 'Status Conference' in a lawsuit over diesel emissions, May 24, 2016. File photo by John G. Mabanglo/EPA

FRANKFURT, Germany – US authorities have again extended a deadline for embattled German carmaker Volkswagen to present the details of its plan to compensate US car owners affected by the massive engine-rigging scandal, a court said Thursday, June 16.

“Given the highly technical nature of the proposed settlements in these complex proceedings,” the district court in San Francisco handling the case said in a statement that it had decided to “extend the deadline” from June 21 until June 28.

It had already been pushed back from April until June.

A hearing will be held on July 26 to approve VW’s proposed deal, the court added.

VW was plunged into its deepest-ever crisis when it came to light last September that it had installed emissions-cheating software into 11 million diesel engines worldwide.

And it is currently trying to reach agreement with the US authorities over the modalities for rectifying the problem and compensating car owners of the 500,000 vehicles affected in the US.

The carmaker reached an agreement in principle in April offering US owners of some 480,000 illegally polluting diesel cars options of “substantial compensation” and to fix the cars, or to buy them back.

The offer, which will likely cost Volkswagen billions of dollars, also included the creation of a fund for environmental protection.

VW, which owns 12 different brands ranging from Volkswagen and Audi to Porsche and SEAT, has already started recalling the affected vehicles in Europe, but is not offering owners financial compensation.

The group has set aside 16.2 billion euros ($18.2 billion) in provisions so far to cover the costs of the scandal, with 7 billion euros earmarked for legal costs alone. –

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