Volkswagen is about to tell a judge it's willing to pay for cheating emissions test. The automaker will offer to pay about $1 billion to buy back nearly 500,000 of the 600,000 diesel cars implicated in the massive emissions scandal.
The details of the deal are still being worked out, but the principal is there, according to reports citing a person briefed on the matter. The company is expected to notify a federal judge today of its intent to buy back the vehicles.
The buy back would cover the 2.0 liter diesel vehicles that included Jetta, Golf and Audi A3 cars with model years as early as 2009. But it won't cover the 80,000 3.0-liter diesel vehicles that include Porsche and Audi SUVs.
And the deal may not consist of just outright buy backs. Volkswagen may offer repair work to some owners of the affected vehicles, though the repair work and compensation would vary by engine and vehicle model type, according to the unnamed source.
"They've agreed on a maximum amount of money, over $1 billion [for compensation]," the source said. "How it's allocated and distributed, that remains to be seen."
Volkswagen isn't expected to offer specifics on the billion dollar proposal when it notifies U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer of it today. During the hearing, the judge will moderate discussion over a timeline about discovery and deposition in the lawsuit against the automaker.
Last September, Volkswagen admitted to using sophisticated software to cheat emissions testing. The automaker was caught out by the Environmental Protection Agency after the University of West Virginia's Center for Alternative Fuels performed tests on some of the vehicles as part of a study commissioned by the Council on Clean Transportation.
While Volkswagen may be willing to spend $1 billion to buy back vehicles from consumers and car lots, the automaker has set aside ten times that much to deal with the entire matter. Beyond paying to make the cars right, Volkswagen will have to shell out more money to clean up the legal mess it has made with the emissions scandal.