Volkswagen's “dieselgate” part-settlement has received preliminary approval from a US judge.
It's the start of a long, slow process for VW to clear its name after it was caught programming diesel engine management systems to enter a low-emission (and low power) state when undergoing emission tests.
If the arrangement between the company, the US government, and 44 states goes ahead, the company will spend around US$14.7 billion on buybacks or remediation. The company has set aside another $603 million in an accord with other states.
The settlement includes $2.7 billion for environmental mitigation, and $2 billion to promote zero-emission vehicles (sit down, Elon, VW isn't going to start selling Teslas).
That won't completely clear the decks in America, however: the arrangement that got the all-clear from San Francisco US District Court judge Charles Breyer only covers the 2.0 litre engines in VW and Audi vehicles.
The company will still have to cut a deal to placate both regulators and the 82,000 owners of cars with 3.0 litre engines.
Judge Breyer has set down October 18 for final approval of this deal.
Criminal probes continue in the USA, as well as in Germany and South Korea, and owners in other countries continue agitating for more regulatory action. In Australia, for example, the company claims different NOx emission standards mean the engines didn't breach regulations. ®