Dieselgate: VW initiates settlement talks with 25,000 claimants

German carmaker Volkswagen has already initiated settlement talks with lawyers in around half of the 50,000 outstanding individual claimant cases regarding its emissions cheating scandal, dpa has learned.

Of these, approximately 25,000 negotiations that have already begun, about 7,000 have already been successfully completed, VW told dpa on Friday, with the carmaker hoping to conclude all 50,000 by the end of the year.

Those who agree to the settlement will get to keep their car, the company has said.

If the claimants choose to reject out-of-court settlements, they can wait for a court to rule on their own individual proceedings, whereupon, under certain circumstances, they may receive the purchase price, minus an amount for the vehicle’s use.

The vehicle must be returned to Volkswagen as part of the “reverse transaction.”

The 50,000 outstanding cases, the majority of which are classified as eligible for settlements, involve solo claimants. VW expects an acceptance rate of 75 per cent.

The cases were not covered by a deal struck between the company and the vzbv consumer protection group earlier this year.

That agreement, in which VW is to pay out up to 830 million euros (980 million dollars) to 235,000 car owners in Germany, allowed the company to avoid a class-action lawsuit.

In September 2015, it emerged that Volkswagen had been fitting millions of diesel cars with so-called defeat devices designed to hoodwink environmental regulators by making the engines run cleaner in testing than on the road.

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