American Axle & Manufacturing has announced that 558 UAW-represented workers have accepted a buy-out offer from its Buffalo, New York, plant.

The separation programme was offered to around 650 workers at the gear, axle & linkage factory which halted production in December 2007.

AAM offered a range of retirement incentives and buy-outs from September 2007.

Last August AAM estimated that it would incur special charges of up to $US85million for the programme, including pension and other postretirement benefit curtailments and special termination benefits.

Yesterday it estimated the total cost of the programme at about $56m.