When it comes to addressing Volkswagen's diesel-emissions scandal that broke last September, some would say Europe's largest automaker has proposed to merely throw money at the problem. And that may be just fine for at least one US district court judge in San Francisco. Because there may not be an alternative solution.

US District Court Judge Charles Breyer has until October 25 to decide whether or not to approve a settlement that would cost VW about $10 billion, according to Automotive News. VW has proposed buying back about 475,000 cars fitted with 2.0-liter diesel engines, as well as giving those owners a little something extra (i.e. between $5,100 and $10,000) for their problems. The total tab would come out to more than $20,000 per vehicle owner. As of last week, almost 350,000 VW owners had filed to get in line for the payouts.

But VW was supposed to give affected TDI owners a choice. Take the money or VW will fix the car. Trouble is, VW hasn't come up with a fix for the diesels that satisfies either the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or the California Air Resources Board (CARB), which means that the automaker might have to buy back every dirty diesel out there, according to Road & Track. Additionally, there are another 85,000 vehicles sold as VWs, Audis, and Porsches that have 3.0-liter diesel engines that are part of the scandal, and there have been no solutions on how to address those vehicle owners at all. Breyer has also granted a preliminary approval for VW to settle with more than 600 US franchised dealers. That will cost the company about $1.2 billion.

In late June, Volkswagen reached a preliminary settlement with both US and California regulators over the scandal, which broke after it was discovered that VW outfitted its diesel cars with software that allows the engines to cheat the emissions-testing process. That settlement was estimated to cost VW as much as $14.7 billion.

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