Report: VW nearing $3B settlement with Justice Department over Dieselgate

January 6, 2017

Volkswagen officials may be near a $3 billion settlement with U.S. Department of Justice officials for crimes related to the widespread diesel cheating scandal, Reuters reported.

A finalized deal may be announced as early as next week, according to the story. A spokesman for Volkswagen in the U.S. didn't comment on the story.

Terms of the deal weren't immediately clear, but Volkswagen may agree to an independent monitor or some kind of oversight in exchange for deferred jail sentences or reduced jail time. Similar agreements made by General Motors and Toyota with the Justice Department avoided jail terms for employees or executives.

Federal prosecutors alleged in their complaints that Volkswagen covered up or concealed evidence relating to their admission that hundreds of thousands of cars in the U.S. were equipped with emissions-cheating "defeat devices" and illegally polluting. In a separate settlement with the EPA, Volkswagen agreed to buy back more than 300,000 cars from owners, which could cost more than $10 billion.

The proposed deal with the DOJ could bring the overall cost for the cheating scandal to more than $17 billion in the U.S. alone.

Volkswagen's settlement with the DOJ could be one of the largest for an automaker. In 2015, General Motors settled with the Justice Department for $900 million after it admitted that faulty ignition switches contributed to the death of more than 100 people. Toyota settled in 2014 with the Justice Department for $1.2 billion for allegations related to unintended acceleration in its cars.

VW still faces a separate lawsuit from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

Separately, Reuters reported that the EPA has approved a fix for some affected VW vehicles including 2015 Volkswagen Beetle, Golf, Golf Sportwagen, Jetta, Passat, and 2015 Audi A3 models equipped with the EA288 engine.

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