U.S. judge approves Volkswagen 3.0 liter, Bosch diesel settlements

(Reuters) - A federal judge on Thursday granted final approval on an agreement for Volkswagen AG VOWG_p.DE to pay at least $1.22 billion to fix or buy back 80,000 3.0-liter vehicles in the United States linked to the German automaker's diesel emissions cheating scandal.

A U.S. flag flutters in the wind above a Volkswagen dealership in Carlsbad, California, U.S. May 2, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

At a court hearing in San Francisco, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer also said he was granting final approval to German auto supplier Robert Bosch GmbH’s separate settlement, under which it will pay $327.5 million to U.S. VW diesel owners for its role in developing the engines.

Breyer said he was overruling all objections and called the settlements, in which Bosch admitted to no wrongdoing, “fair, reasonable and adequate.”

Last fall, Breyer approved a separate settlement for Volkswagen worth up to $14.7 billion, requiring it to buy back 475,000 2.0-liter polluting vehicles that emitted up to 40 times legally allowable emissions.

Owners of 3.0 liter vehicles who opt for fixes will get compensation of between $7,000 and $16,000 from Volkswagen if emissions remedies are approved in a timely fashion.

Volkswagen, the best-selling automaker worldwide in 2016, could be forced to pay up to $4.04 billion if regulators do not approve fixes for all 3.0 liter vehicles.

Volkswagen spokeswoman Jeannine Ginivan said the settlement “marks an important milestone for Volkswagen and means that a resolution is available to all of our customers” with eligible diesels.

In total, VW has now agreed to spend up to $25 billion in the United States to address claims from owners, environmental regulators, U.S. states and dealers and to make buy-back offers.

In April, Volkswagen, which admitted to circumventing the emissions control system in U.S. diesel vehicles, was sentenced to three years probation after pleading guilty to three felony counts.

Under the settlement, Volkswagen agreed to sweeping reforms, new audits and oversight. Over the next three years, VW must test all of its U.S. vehicles using portable emissions measurement system testing - a method designed to capture real world emissions and deter cheating.

Separately, VW’s U.S. unit said on Thursday it had named a KPMG LLP director, Stephanie C. Davis, as its chief compliance officer.

Volkswagen said Davis has worked on compliance issues. Last month, former Deputy U.S. Attorney General Larry Thompson was tapped to serve as independent monitor of Volkswagen for three years under a Justice Department plea agreement over its excess emissions.

VW still faces outstanding suits from U.S. bondholders, other investors and suits alleging excess carbon dioxide emissions with gasoline-powered Audi vehicles.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Tom Brown and Dan Grebler