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Report: VW Still Uncertain About ‘Generous’ Compensation Package For US Owners

VW's scandal broke in September when regulators found that the company installed software on vehicles to manipulate emissions levels.


Volkswagen is still weighing how to compensate American owners of vehicles involved in its diesel emissions scandal.

The head of the automaker's emissions-related claims fund, however, assured a German paper that the packages would be generous.

Reuters reported that Kenneth Feinberg told Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung that VW has yet to decide whether or not to include cash, vehicle repairs, replacement cars or buy-back offers in an eventual compensation package.

The scandal over VW's diesel emissions broke in September when federal regulators found that the company installed software on vehicles to manipulate emissions levels during official tests.

VW originally hoped to establish a fund for claims within 90 days, but VW and U.S. regulators are still discussing plans to address some 600,000 American cars equipped with emissions-cheating software.

A recall plan for the European Union was already approved, but meeting U.S. standards for nitrogen oxide emissions will require far more complicated repairs.

Discussions between the company and the Environmental Protection Agency did not produce an agreement, while California regulators last month rejected an initial recall plan to fix 2.0-liter diesel vehicles.

"My hands are tied as long as VW and the authorities have not overcome their differences," Feinberg told the paper.

Feinberg said that he expects that more than 90 percent of affected owners will eventually accept the compensation offer, which would follow previous cases at Volkswagen and at other automakers.

He previously ran compensation funds related to General Motors' ignition switch recall, along with BP's 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill and the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

Feinberg said that he is unlikely to accept claims that high emissions levels damaged the health of VW owners and told the paper that he is inclined to "tell such people they should sue Volkswagen if they want to."

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