The Latest: Judge gives early OK to Volkswagen settlement

SAN FRANCISCO – The Latest on the Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal (all times local):

10 a.m.

A federal judge in San Francisco has granted preliminary approval to a $15 billion settlement over Volkswagen’s emissions cheating scandal.

U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer ruled Tuesday on the deal that would settle consumer lawsuits and government allegations that the company’s diesel engines cheated on U.S. emissions tests.

Attorneys for Volkswagen owners sought approval of the agreement reached last month. The terms call for the German carmaker to spend up to $10 billion buying back or repairing about 475,000 Volkswagens and Audi vehicles with 2-litre diesel engines and paying their owners an additional $5,100 to $10,000 each.

Volkswagen has acknowledged that the cars were programmed to turn on emissions controls during government lab tests and turn them off while on the road.

A final decision is expected in October.


11:30 p.m.

A $15 billion settlement over Volkswagen’s emissions cheating scandal faces a critical test, as a federal judge in San Francisco decides whether to grant its preliminary approval.

U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer is scheduled to consider the settlement at a hearing on Tuesday. He appears inclined to approve it.

He has kept close watch over the negotiations and praised the efforts of attorneys and a court-appointed settlement master who helped broker the deal.

Preliminary approval would allow attorneys to notify vehicle owners of the terms, which include a buyback option. The owners could use a settlement website to determine how much compensation Volkswagen would give them.

Breyer is expected to decide in October whether to grant final approval of the settlement or tell the parties to keep negotiating.