A Federal Judge Ok’d Volkswagen settlement of nearly $15 billion over the Volkswagen group emissions scandal. The settlement calls for a massive vehicle buyback program and environmental remediation program. The Federal Judge was Charles Breyer of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco. The settlement is with the U.S. Government and California regulators.
An article in USA Today – The Journal News by Nathan Bomey claims the settlement comes a year after Volkswagen admitted it rigged 11 million vehicles worldwide with software to dodge emission standards. Volkswagen still faces a criminal investigation by the U.S. Justice Department and German prosecutors.
About 475,000 vehicle owners can choose between a buyback or a free fix and compensation if repairs became available. Buybacks range from $12,475 to $44,176 including restitution payments. Owners who opt for a fix must be approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and will receive a fix and a payout from $5,100 to $9,852, depending on book value of their car. Volkswagen will also pay another $2.7 billion for environmental mitigation and another $2 billion for clean emissions infrastructure.
V.W. has also agreed to $1.2 billion settlement with V.W. dealers and is negotiating a separate settlement with more than 80,000 owners of V.W. 3 liter diesel vehicles.
More than 336,000 of the eligible V.W. owners have registered for the settlement. If V.W. cannot come up with a fix, they can back out of the settlement. If the EPA does not approve the fix, all owners will be offered the buyback option. Volkswagen plaintiff’s attorney told Judge Breyer the deal “set a land speed record – probably an air speed record as well”. Volkswagen attorney told the Judge the deal “may well be one of the biggest settlements in consumer history and V.W.’s concerted attempt to make this right.