U.S. judge grants preliminary approval to VW, Bosch settlements | Reuters
By David Shepardson | WASHINGTON WASHINGTON A federal judge on Tuesday granted preliminary approval to a plan for Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) to pay at least $1.22 billion to fix or buy back nearly 80,000 polluting 3.0-liter diesel vehicles in the United States over the German automaker's emissions-cheating scandal.
By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON A federal judge on Tuesday granted preliminary approval to a plan for Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) to pay at least $1.22 billion to fix or buy back nearly 80,000 polluting 3.0-liter diesel vehicles in the United States over the German automaker's emissions-cheating scandal. U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco also agreed at a court hearing to grant preliminary approval to German auto supplier Robert Bosch GmbH's separate settlement to pay $327.5 million to U.S. diesel VW owners. 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 litre luxury Porsche, Audi and VW diesel vehicles in the settlement. Breyer will hold a May 11 hearing on whether to grant final approval.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 buyback offers.
Volkswagen is set to plead guilty on Feb. 24 in Detroit to three felony counts under a plea agreement to resolve U.S. charges it installed secret software in vehicles to allow them to emit pollution up to 40 times the legal limit. VW previously agreed to spend up to $10.03 billion to buy back up to 475,000 polluting 2.0-liter vehicles that have software that allowed them to evade emissions rules in testing. The 3.0 litre vehicles have an undeclared auxiliary emissions system that allowed the vehicles to emit up to nine times allowable limits.
VW said Tuesday that it has received claims from 360,000 current and former 2.0-liter owners and has made settlement offers to more than 300,000 owners.The German automaker still faces claims from investors, suits from some U.S. states and some owners who have opted out of the class-actions settlement, along with pending investigations by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and German prosecutors.
As part of a $4.3 billion settlement with U.S. regulators, the German automaker agreed to sweeping reforms, new audits and oversight by an independent monitor for three years to resolve diesel emissions-cheating investigations.The United States has also charged seven current and former VW executives with wrongdoing. (Reporting by David Shepardson in Washington; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)
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By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.