A federal judge has given Volkswagen until March 24 to come up with a fix for the estimated 600,000 vehicles affected by the diesel emissions cheating scandal, reports the Associated Press.
U.S. District Court Judge Charles R. Breyer told Volkswagen lawyers that the automaker must report back to court with a solution for the affected vehicles and an updated status report on of a potential settlement for owners of the affected vehicles.
March 24 will mark six months since the news of Volkswagen’s illegal cheating software first broke. The automaker has admitted to installing illegal software that allows Volkswagen “clean diesel” TDI engines to emit up to 40 times the allowed levels of nitrogen dioxide into the atmosphere while fooling testing devices.
Judge Breyer emphasized the delay means excess emissions entering the atmosphere every day and many Volkswagen owners are now stuck with cars they can’t legally sell. Volkswagen has already received approval for a solution for affected diesel engines in Europe, but more stringent laws regarding diesel emissions in the U.S. have proven difficult for Volkswagen to surmount. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is reportedly asking Volkswagen to build electric vehicles in the U.S. as a form of penance.
If a solution can’t be found, Volkswagen may be forced to buy back all of the affected vehicles.