Volkswagen Settlement Deal: Owners will be Compensated

In related litigation, hundreds of millions of dollars will be returned to Washington consumers as restitution, and Volkswagen will either buy back or fix affected vehicles.

This is the largest-ever automotive buyback offer in the United States. The money is meant to resolve a scandal in which the automaker programmed diesel cars to cheat emissions tests. "This partial settlement marks a significant first step towards holding Volkswagen accountable for what was a breach of its legal duties and a breach of the public's trust".

"We moved with lightning speed to settle with our federal and state regulators and the private plaintiffs".

"Consumers specifically sought these supposedly green vehicles in an effort to make a better choice for the environment, only to discover Volkswagen deliberately deceived them", Ferguson said.

"They want to know when they get paid and how they can be done with Volkswagen", he added.

The settlement also includes $2.7 billion for environmental mitigation and another $2 billion to promote zero-emissions vehicles.

The affected vehicles include 2009 through 2015 Volkswagen TDI diesel models of Jettas, Passats, Golfs and Beetles as well as the TDI Audi A3.

"By duping the regulators, Volkswagen turned almost half a million American drivers into unwitting accomplices in an unprecedented assault on our atmosphere", said Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates. Those are still under an ongoing criminal investigation, so owners of those will have to sit tight until a decision regarding any settlement is reached.

In addition, European governments and consumer lobby groups are calling for the automaker to provide compensation similar to what is being offered in the United States.

The company is planning a multi-billion-euro investment program for the introduction of more than 30 fully-electric cars by 2025.

The automaker has set aside $18 billion to deal with the fallout, and Tuesday said it continues to assess if the amount is adequate. "The $10.033 billion is the maximum VW could pay if it had to buy back all vehicles, but the actual amount VW will pay could be much less if a large number of owners don't take buybacks".

While the settlement has been agreed upon, it still needs final approval from a USA judge.

Volkswagen says the $10 billion consumer settlement assumes that it will buy back all of the cars.

Lawyers are still working on settlements for another 80,000 vehicles with 3-liter diesel engines. "Just as importantly, consumers who were cheated by Volkswagen's deceptive advertising campaign will be able to get full and fair compensation, not only for the lost or diminished value of their auto but also for the other harms that VW caused them".

Unless it can develop a suitable fix, VW may be forced to buy back all the 2-liter vehicles. A class-action lawsuit has been filed against the company.

 

 

  • Hannah Rogers