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(FILES) This file photo taken on April 17, 2018 shows the exhaust pipe of a diesel powered Volkswagen Golf testcar of German electronic and engineering company Bosch with a portable emission measurement system is displayed in Stuttgart, southern Germany. - German prosecutors searched car giant Volkswagen's offices on December 3, 2019 over the long-running 'dieselgate' emissions cheating scandal, the company said, adding it was cooperating with authorities. (Photo by THOMAS KIENZLE / AFP) (AFP)
(FILES) This file photo taken on April 17, 2018 shows the exhaust pipe of a diesel powered Volkswagen Golf testcar of German electronic and engineering company Bosch with a portable emission measurement system is displayed in Stuttgart, southern Germany. - German prosecutors searched car giant Volkswagen's offices on December 3, 2019 over the long-running 'dieselgate' emissions cheating scandal, the company said, adding it was cooperating with authorities. (Photo by THOMAS KIENZLE / AFP) (AFP)

Volkswagen starts settlement talks with German consumer groups over dieselgate

  • In 2015, Volkswagen admitted to cheating emission norms to escape scrutiny
  • The company dished out nearly 30 billion euros as fines and legal costs

Volkswagen on Thursday said it was in talks to discuss a settlement with German vehicle owners who are suing the carmaker over excessive pollution caused by VW's diesel cars.

In 2015 the carmaker admitted to using manipulated engine management software to mask excessive pollution levels in its diesel cars, sparking a raft of prosecutions and lawsuits that have led to at least 30 billion euros in legal costs and fines.

"Volkswagen and the Federation of German Consumer Organisations VZBV have agreed to enter into discussions regarding a possible settlement," the carmaker said.

"The discussions are at a very early stage, and there is no guarantee that they will result in a settlement. Both parties have agreed that the discussions should remain confidential."

German consumers have had less success than vehicle owners in the United States in securing compensation from VW because German cars did not lose their road worthiness certification in the wake of the diesel scandal.

In Germany VW's diesel vehicles retained their road worthiness certification if customers agreed to an update of vehicle engine management software, leading VW to take a different approach to compensating consumers.

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