Energy

Time Is Running Out For VW To Strike A Deal With EPA Over Emissions Scandal

REUTERS/Sergio Perez

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Chris White Tech Reporter
Font Size:

Volkswagen may be running out of time to make a deal with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over the September carbon emission cheating scandal, the agency’s head administrator said Tuesday.

The German-based carmaker and the EPA are supposed to show up in court to hash out an agreement on how best to address excess emissions from 580,000 diesel vehicles sold in U.S.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy told reporters that the regulator and the car company have been involved in “really robust” conversations over the past few months, but she cast doubt on whether the two sides would be able to come to a solution.

McCarthy refused to disclose whether the EPA would accept partial fix for the tainted diesel-powered vehicles, or if they would request VW buy back all the vehicles.

“I wouldn’t take any single signal as the direction of those negotiations or where any final agreement – if we reach one – will end up,” McCarthy told reporters at a meeting set up by the media outlet Christian Science Monitor.

VW acknowledged in September that it installed so-called defeat devices in vehicles such as the Beetle and Porsche Cayenne, expressly to hide the car’s smog-producing nitrous oxide emission levels.

VW is facing fines, fees and litigation from all corners of the globe, including a $5.6 billion euro lawsuit in Europe, as well as one filed by the U.S. Department of Justice in January amounting to $46 billion.

California Air Resources Board (CARB) rejected outright a recall plan in January affecting more than 75,688 vehicles submitted by VW. The EPA agreed with CARB’s decision, noting in a press statement then that VW “has not submitted an approvable recall plan to bring the vehicles into compliance and reduce pollution.”

U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer gave the two parties until April 21 in March to iron out their differences, and to offer substantive proposals to fix the vehicles. Breyer said that if a deal was not struck by that date, then he would consider pushing the court date to sometime this summer.

Breyer may be reaching the end of his rope, as the court hearing has been rescheduled once before. He had previously set a date for March 24 to have the quickly fading German carmaker, the oftentimes-overzealous EPA, the Justice Department, and CARB to discuss remediation efforts.

In March, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, or CalSTRS, announced it would join a German shareholder group in suing VW. CalSTRS owned $52 million in the German car producer’s stock as of Dec. 31.

Follow Chris on Facebook and Twitter

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.