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Volkswagen in settlement talks over 'dieselgate' mass lawsuit in Germany

Volkswagen AG on Jan. 2 said it has entered into settlement talks over a mass lawsuit in Germany relating to the "dieselgate" emissions scandal.

The carmaker confirmed in a statement to S&P Global Market Intelligence that it was in talks with the Federation of German Consumer Organisations, or VZBV, which is representing more than 400,000 car owners.

"The common goal of VZBV and Volkswagen is a pragmatic solution for the benefit of the customer. The discussions are at a very early stage, and there is no guarantee that they will result in a settlement," the automaker said.

The development comes after Volkswagen in September 2019 rejected a judge's call to settle the lawsuit. The legal claim is the first instance in which the declaratory model action, which is similar to a U.S. class-action lawsuit, has been used in Germany.

Volkswagen in December was fined A$125 million by an Australian federal court for breaching the country's consumer laws and faced fresh legal proceedings in the U.K.'s High Court related to the scandal.

In early afternoon trading, shares of Volkswagen were up 1.2% at €178.36.