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Volkswagen reaches $54 million 'dieselgate' settlement with Italian owners

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ROME, May 15 (Reuters) -Volkswagen VOWG_p.DE and a group representing car owners in Italy have reached an agreement worth more than 50 million euros ($54 million) to end a legal battle over the "dieselgate" emissions scandal, they said on Wednesday.

In the settlement, over 60,000 car owners affected by the emissions fraud will be paid up to 1,100 euros each, Italian consumer group Altroconsumo said in a statement.

The scandal rocked the automotive industry in 2015 when it emerged that vehicles had been fitted with illegal software to cheat environmental emissions tests. It has cost the German carmaker more than 32 billion euros ($34.8 billion)in fines, refits and legal costs.

Volkswagen's Italian arm confirmed the agreement.

"We continue to work in favour of our customers here in Italy. The agreement brings a years-long litigation to an end and offers a mutual solution for all parties involved," it said in a statement.

The settlement applies to drivers who bought Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and SEAT cars with diesel EA189 engines between 2009 and 2015.

Altroconsumo started legal action against Volkswagen in 2015, in coordination with its sister organisations in Belgium, Spain and Portugal who are part of the Euroconsumers body.

The group called on Volkswagen to properly compensate dieselgate victims in all countries involved.

"All dieselgate victims are equal and should be treated with equal respect," said Els Bruggeman, Head of Policy and Enforcement for Euroconsumers.

($1 = 0.9207 euros)

Reporting by Francesca Piscioneri in Rome, additional reporting by Christina Amann in Berlin,
editing by Keith Weir


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