(Adds details on dealer settlement approval)
By David Shepardson
Oct 18 A federal judge in San Francisco on
Tuesday said he is "strongly inclined" to approve a
record-setting $10.033 billion proposed buyback and compensation
offer from Volkswagen AG for 475,000 owners of
polluting 2.0-liter diesel vehicles.
U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer said he will issue a
final decision in the matter, stemming from Volkswagen's use of
illegal software to defeat U.S. emissions testing, by Oct. 25.
Owners, lawyers and others appeared before Breyer during a
hearing raising arguments about why they think Volkswagen is
failing to offer enough money for buybacks or refunding for
other out-of-pocket costs like extended warranties, maintenance
and government licensing fees. VW has agreed to spend up to
$16.7 billion to address its so-called U.S. "Dieselgate" costs.
Breyer also on Tuesday granted preliminary approval during
the three-hour hearing to a $1.21 billion settlement with VW's
U.S. brand dealers. He also stressed the urgency of VW reaching
agreement with regulators on a resolution for about 85,000
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Tom Brown)