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VW given until March to report on diesel fix, claims settlement talks are progressing

Two big updates come from Volkswagen following a $46 billion lawsuit filed by the US government.

It bears mentioning that, while Volkswagen is dealing with matters in court, its vehicles continue to over-pollute on roadways around the world.

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Volkswagen had its day in court this week, appearing in a San Francisco courthouse to discuss the $46 billion lawsuit filed by the federal government. The judge presiding over the hearing wasn't exactly lenient, setting a deadline for forthcoming remedies and inquiring about settlement talks with various agencies.

Reuters reports that US District Judge Charles Breyer, in no uncertain terms, asked VW for a "definitive answer" regarding any potential fix for its diesel engines no later than March 24. The outlet quoted the judge as saying, "Six months is long enough," which is how long it's been since the company admitted to installing software that intentionally curbs emissions in lab testing situations only.

Volkswagen does have a fix that it submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB), but those two groups have yet to announce whether or not the fix is good. The two have already denied Volkswagen once.

Volkswagen did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Reuters also reports that Volkswagen said it's moving along in settlement talks with the Department of Justice, which filed the lawsuit against the automaker. While the lawsuit mentions that $46 billion figure, after any settlement talks are concluded, it's likely to be a fair bit less.

Until an agreement is reached, Volkswagen cannot move forward to deal with individual owner claims. The company hired compensation expert Ken Feinberg to handle that side of things.