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Judge approves $15 billion Volkswagen settlement

Staff Writer |
A federal judge authorized a nearly $15 billion U.S. settlement over the Volkswagen Group emissions scandal.

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Judge Charles Breyer of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco approved the sweeping agreement between consumers, the U.S. government, California regulators and the German automaker in a written ruling a week after signaling he was likely to sign off. He said the agreement is "fair, reasonable and adequate."

The settlement comes about a year after Volkswagen admitted that it rigged 11 million vehicles worldwide with software to dodge emissions standards.

The company is still facing criminal investigations by the U.S. Justice Department and German prosecutors. The U.S. probe could lead to additional financial penalties and criminal indictments.

About 475,000 Volkswagen owners in the U.S. can choose between a buyback or a free fix and compensation, if a repair becomes available.

Buybacks range in value from $12,475 to $44,176, including restitution payments. People who opt for a fix approved by the Environmental Protection Agency will receive payouts ranging from $5,100 to $9,852, depending on the book value of their car.

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