After its excessively dirty diesels polluted the nation’s air for years, Volkswagen is on the verge of making environmental reparations in the U.S. and state of California, Bloomberg reports.
The automaker is reportedly in talks with U.S authorities to create two remediation funds aimed at offsetting some of the environmental (and possibly legal) damage resulting from the diesel emissions scandal.
The national fund would be managed by the Environmental Protection Agency, where Volkswagen’s money would go towards promoting low-emissions motoring. The California fund would be managed by the state for the same purposes. (Anyone interested in an electric Volkswagen? Hmm?)
The U.S. Department of Justice is suing Volkswagen for up to $46 billion, and the creation of these funds could result in the financial penalty being lowered.
Volkswagen is currently attempting to find a viable fix for the 11 million diesel vehicles recalled worldwide, for which billions of dollars have been set aside to fund. In the U.S., the automaker has until next week to present its plan, though it has admitted that the deadline will come and go without one.
Last week, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) admitted many older diesel models likely wouldn’t be able to be fixed, and raised the possibility of allowing the automaker the leniency to deliver only a partial fix.
The partial-fix option would be an alternative to buying back older models sold in California, though CARB would insist that Volkswagen hand over money to offset the future pollution.
Hypothetically, if the national and state-level remediation funds are substantial enough, it is possible the automaker could avoid a U.S. buyback program altogether.