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Source: VW inks deal to pay Dieselgate owners in U.S.

DETROIT -- A person briefed on the matter says Volkswagen has reached a billion-dollar agreement with the U.S. government to compensate owners of diesel-powered cars that cheat on emissions tests, according to the Associated Press.

The person told AP it's an agreement in principle that does not include final details of how much each owner will get. Those figures have yet to be worked out. Some owners would have the option of getting their cars repaired or having Volkswagen buy them back, according to the source.

The agreement is expected to be revealed Thursday morning during a court hearing in San Francisco. The person told AP it will not include plans to fix the cars, which apparently are still under negotiation.

The person didn't want to be identified because the terms of the deal are not public.

Elsewehere, the German newspaper Die Welt also reported a deal has been made. The settlement would include giving $5,000 to affected U.S. owners, a nearly $3 billion payout, with other conditions likely applied, according to the newspaper.

A federal judge in San Francisco last month gave Volkswagen (VLKAY) and regulators a month to provide a specific plan about how they will bring nearly 600,000 diesel cars into compliance with clean air laws following an emissions cheating scandal.

Volkswagen acknowledged in September that it intentionally defeated emissions tests and put dirty vehicles on the road. The cheating allowed cars to pass laboratory emissions tests while spewing harmful nitrogen oxide at up to 40 times the level allowed when operating on real roads.

The Department of Justice has sued Volkswagen on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The company also is facing lawsuits from angry car owners, who are demanding Volkswagen buy the vehicles back. Those cases are both before Senior U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer.

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