CARS.COM — The federal judge overseeing the lawsuits in the Volkswagen diesel crisis today gave the company an extension until April 21 to reach an agreement with regulators on how to fix its diesel cars that pollute too much.
Related: More on VW’s Diesel Crisis
If you’ve been following the Volkswagen Group’s diesel crisis, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer had ordered the company to report by today on a plan to fix the emissions systems in nearly 600,000 U.S. diesel cars from the 2009 to 2016 model years. The company has been sued by the government. It also faces hundreds of suits from consumers for the cheating; the suits have been consolidated under Breyer.
In granting the extension, the judge cited “substantial progress” by VW and regulators toward a solution, according Volkswagen spokeswoman Jeannine Ginivan. Details of that progress, however, were not made public.
In a statement, the company said that it “is committed to resolving the U.S. regulatory investigation into the diesel emissions matter as quickly as possible and to implementing a solution for affected vehicles.” It also said that it is “cooperating fully” with Breyer “to bring about a prompt and fair resolution” of the consumer lawsuits.
Volkswagen installed “defeat device” software in the cars that allowed them to pass emission tests but switched off in real-world driving. The result is better fuel mileage and performance but significantly greater emissions. The company has halted sales of its vehicles with its four- or six-cylinder diesels since the cheating was revealed last year.
In January, the California Air Resources Board rejected the initial solution proposed by VW; the EPA said it supported CARB’s decision.
There have been indications that a complete solution for all the cars and engines involved may not be possible. In early March, CARB enforcement chief Todd Sax said that regulators may have to “accept something less than a full fix,” according to Reuters.