Vw To Pay GM $100 Million To Settle Industrial-Spying Suit

BERLIN - Volkswagen and General Motors have reached an out-of-court settlement of their high-stakes civil dispute, defusing one of the most sensational cases of alleged industrial spying in recent memory.

According to a joint statement issued by the car makers yesterday, Volkswagen will make a $100 million payment to GM and its German subsidiary, Adam Opel. VW will also buy $1 billion worth of parts from General Motors over the next seven years.

In return, GM said it had agreed to drop its civil suit against Volkswagen and top VW executives in U.S. District Court in Detroit. But criminal charges remain in effect in Germany against the man who started the whole dispute, former GM and Volkswagen purchasing chief Jose Ignacio Lopez.

Further details of the settlement were not immediately available.

VW poached Lopez from General Motors in 1993. GM alleged that Lopez handed over to VW such supersensitive information as GM's purchasing system.