On February 16, 2017, Judge Charles Breyer of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted preliminary approval to a buyback, compensation, and repair settlement for owners and lessees of 3.0-liter diesel engine VW, Porsche and Audi vehicles. This preliminary approval signals a signal step on the path toward final settlement approval, expected to occur in May of 2017. The Court also gave preliminary approval to a separate $327.5 million settlement with German auto supplier Robert Bosch GmbH, which wrote and installed the secret emissions-manipulating software on the affected vehicles.
The $1.2 billion settlement will facilitate potential buybacks of approximately 20,000 “Generation 1” VW and Audi vehicles from the 2009-12 model years and the eventual repair of more than 58,000 VW, Audi and Porsche “Generation 2” vehicles from the 2013-16 model years.
“We are pleased the court has granted preliminary approval, which brings us another step closer to achieving the settlements’ goals: providing consumers fair value for their vehicles, while repairing or removing illegally polluting vehicles from the road,” said Elizabeth Cabraser, founding partner of Lieff Cabraser and lead counsel for the consumer plaintiffs in the litigation. “We have heard from many owners and lessees who are eager to take advantage of the settlement, and we look forward to finalizing this agreement so these benefits can quickly begin reaching both consumers and the environment.”
If VW’s technical fix does not receive FDA approval, the automaker will instead pay approximately $4.04 billion in the settlement, and the plaintiffs will then ask the court to approve a buyback on the remaining Generation 2 vehicles.