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VW to pay further $1.2 bn to US ‘dieselgate’ customers

Volkswagen has admitted that its Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche diesels marketed as environmentally friendly were equipped secretly with illegal devices that hid above-regulation pollution levels from regulators/FILE

FRANKFURT AM MAIN, Germany, Feb 1 – German car manufacturer Volkswagen said Tuesday it will pay $1.2 billion (1.1 billion euros) to around 78,000 US buyers of its diesel cars, the last group of customers to be compensated over the ‘dieselgate’ scandal.

US owners of 3.0-litre diesels from Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche will be offered a buyback or refit, depending on the type of vehicle they own, as well as a cash payment.

The agreement will bring the total VW has agreed to pay in the US over the scandal to more than $23 billion.

Along with an existing programme covering owners of 2.0-litre diesels, the deal means “all of our customers with affected vehicles in the United States will have a solution available to them,” VW’s US chief Hinrich Woebcken said in a statement.

A judge must still give preliminary approval to the plan at a February 14 court hearing, with a final green light expected in May at the earliest.

The deal covers some 58,000 2013-2016 models from Volkswagen as well as subsidiaries Audi and Porsche, and a further 20,000 Volkswagen and Audi vehicles dating from 2009-12.

Volkswagen admitted in September 2015 to building so-called “defeat devices”, designed to reduce harmful emissions during regulatory testing, into 11 million diesel vehicles sold worldwide — including some 600,000 in the US.

Earlier in January, it agreed to pay $4.3 billion in fines after pleading guilty to three US criminal charges over the scandal, and the company and its current and former executives continue to face criminal probes elsewhere in the world.

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