Judge to Volkswagen: Find a fix quick for dirty diesel cars

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge wants to know within a month about how Volkswagen plans to bring nearly 600,000 diesel cars into compliance with clean air laws.

U.S. District Court Judge Charles R. Breyer in California is overseeing hundreds of class-action lawsuits against the German automaker.

Breyer told Volkswagen's lawyers he expects them to report back by March 24 about the available technical solutions to fix the cars, and the status of negotiations on a potential settlement with affected owners.

Volkswagen admitted to U.S. regulators in September it had used illegal software installed in its so-called "Clean Diesel" engines. It allowed cars to pass emissions tests while spewing harmful levels of pollution when operating on real roads. Breyer said six months is long enough for VW to find a fix.