Following yesterday’s report that Volkswagen will be setting aside USD$1 billion (RM3.89 billion) to compensate US owners, the automaker has now confirmed that it has reached an “agreement in principle” with relevant authorities over its dieselgate scandal proceedings.

The US firms involved in the action include the Department of Justice (Environmental Division), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB), with the full involvement of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

“This agreement in principle will be incorporated into binding consent decrees by the Department of Justice and the FTC in the coming weeks,” read the brief announcement. The specific terms of the agreement haven’t yet been finalised, with the company saying that only “basic features” of the settlement have been agreed upon at this point.

VW jetta TDI US-spec

These basic terms will be nestled into a more comprehensive settlement that will be revealed in the coming weeks. It was simply said that the presiding judge, Charles Breyer, welcomed the recent developments.

However, several reports claim that a transcript from the court hearing revealed further details surrounding the basic features agreed upon between Volkswagen and US authorities. The document states that approximately 480,000 vehicles equipped with EA189 2.0 litre diesel engines are involved in the case — fewer than the originally estimated 600,000 units.

It adds that owners of these vehicles will have the opportunity to either sell back their vehicles to the car maker, or have the company rectify the vehicles until it complies with local emissions regulations — the latter will be subject to government approval and further testing. Customers who have leased an affected Volkswagen vehicle will be allowed to cancel the lease and return the vehicle to the company.