Volkswagen AG has agreed to pay $14.7 billion to settle a portion of the emissions cheating claims against the company in connection with the Dieselgate scandal. The settlement would be one of the largest even in a consumer class action lawsuit filed in the U.S.
The lawsuits at the heart of the Volkswagen settlement were filed following the German automaker’s admission in September 2015 that it had installed a software “defeat device” on about 11 million VW and Audi models worldwide that were equipped with “TDI Clean Diesel” engines. These defeat devices made VW and Audi diesel models appear to emit far less pollution than they actually did under real world driving conditions.
The settlement between Volkswagen, the federal government, and attorneys representing VW diesel owners involves about 475,000 Volkswagen and Audi diesel models sold in the U.S. Volkswagen would pay as much as $10.03 billion to buy back VW and Audi models equipped with a 2.0 liter diesel engine, as well as additional compensation for owners of these vehicles. Negotiations to settle claims against Volkswagen involving vehicles with 3.0 liter diesel engines are still ongoing.
Owners of one of the affected vehicles will receive between about $5,000 and $10,000 depending on the value of the vehicle before Volkswagen’s admissions of emissions cheating on its diesel models. Vehicle owners may also elect to have their cars fixed in order to bring their cars into compliance with federal emissions laws, rather than selling them back to Volkswagen.
The Dieselgate settlement would also compensate vehicle owners who sold their cars prior to Volkswagen’s admission. VW and Audi diesel owners who sold their vehicles would receive about half the compensation of drivers still in possession of the affected vehicles.
The settlement terms were submitted to a federal judge in California for approval before they can go into effect. In addition to the compensation for vehicle owners, the proposed settlement would also require Volkswagen to pay $2.7 billion into an EPA fund in order to correct the environmental damage caused by diesel emissions from its TDI models. The settlement would also require Volkswagen to spend $2 billion to develop cleaner vehicles.
If approved, the Dieselgate settlement would be the largest ever involving an automaker. However, in addition to the still pending settlement negotiations involving VW’s 3.0 liter diesel models, the company is still facing criminal investigations by officials in 42 states and the Department of Justice over its emissions cheating. The attorney generals representing the Justice Department and the states involved in the investigation are expected to announce their own settlement agreement with Volkswagen soon, the New York Times has reported. Volkswagen is also facing criminal charges in South Korea and Germany, as well as claims filed by vehicle owners in Europe over the company’s Dieselgate emissions cheating.
Volkswagen Dieselgate Lawsuits Filed by Heygood, Orr & Pearson
The law firm of Heygood, Orr & Pearson has filed lawsuits on behalf of VW and Audi diesel owners whose vehicles were affected by the company’s emissions cheating. One of our partners, Michael Heygood, was named to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee that is overseeing the Multidistrict Litigation (or MDL) in California involving the Dieselgate scandal. Our attorneys expect to remain involved in these cases throughout the litigation process as we work to achieve the best results possible for our clients who were harmed by Volkswagen’s fraudulent conduct.
The vehicles included in the Volkswagen diesel recall include the 2009-2015 Audi A3 TDI, the 2016 Audi A6 Quattro, the 2016 Audi A7 Quattro, the 2016 Audi A8, the 2016 Audi A8L, the 2016 Audi Q5, the 2015 Porsche Cayenne, the 2009-2015 Volkswagen Beetle TDI, the 2009-2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI, the 2009-2015 Volkswagen Jetta TDI, and the 2012-2015 Volkswagen Passat TDI. Emissions “defeat devices” have also been discovered on the 2014 Volkswagen Touareg, the 2015 Porsche Cayenne, and the 2016 Audi A6 Quattro, A7 Quattro, A8, A8L, and Q5, although so far these vehicles have not been recalled.
If you purchased or leased one of the VW, Audi, or Porsche diesel-powered vehicles involved in the Dieselgate recall, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson to learn more about your legal rights. For a free legal consultation, please call toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or follow this link to our free case evaluation form and answer a few simple questions to get started.