Volkswagen will spend over $15 billion to get hundreds of thousands of its emission-cheating diesel vehicles off of U.S. roads. The settlement is a U.S. auto industry record, but VW still faces criminal charges and various other civil complaints.
More than $10 billion from the settlement funds will be used to buyback affected vehicles and compensate drivers. VW will also pay $2.7 billion to federal and California regulators for a trust to fund pollution-reduction projects, and make a $2 billion investment in clean technology. It will also pay a $603 million settlement to resolve consumer and environmental claims with 44 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
While the settlement requires VW to pay drivers for their troubles, it also requires VW to spend billions to make up for the environmental damage caused by its diesel engines, partly in the form of advancing clean-engine technologies. A major beneficiary is California, which called out VW for its emissions cheating and will receive $800 million for clean-energy development.
However, the centerpiece of the deals is the $10 billion fund for car owners. Under that agreement, which still requires a judge’s approval, owners will have the choice of having VW buy back their vehicles or install whatever pollution-control retrofit is eventually accepted by regulators. Owners who choose the buyback option will receive their cars’ trade-in value as of last September, just before VW’s admission, plus $5,100 to $10,000 each in additional compensation. Lessees will receive roughly half those amounts.
The settlement with car owners and the U.S. must be approved by U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer, who is overseeing more than 800 lawsuits over the rigged vehicles that were consolidated in San Francisco. Judge Breyer is scheduled on July 26 to consider approving the agreements.
The U.S. Justice Department, which brought a civil suit against VW on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency, said that VW could still be responsible for further civil penalties, and a U.S. criminal investigation is under way.
If you have questions regarding your Volkswagen, you should contact the experienced lemon law attorneys at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® at www.yourlemonlawrights.com or call 1-800-US-LEMON (800-875-3666), toll free. Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® has been effectively assisting Volkswagen customers in Lemon Law claims involving various defects in all makes and models. Our lemon law attorneys will take time to talk to you about your rights and will let you know if they can help.
Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center® was founded in 1995 and has helped over 45,000 consumers nationwide enforce their rights against manufacturers of defective consumer products.