U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer has granted final approval to a settlement over emissions fraud on Volkswagen’s 3.0-liter engine vehicles in the U.S. with a value of at least $1.2 billion. The settlement covers approximately 82,500 cars and suvs with the larger capacity engines, and follows the previous $14.7 billion settlement for drivers of 2.0-liter engines. The new settlement brings the total measure of VW’s civil payments over the emissions scandal to about $17.4 billion. U.S. Justice Department attorney Joshua Van Eaton noted in court that the result “sends a message to Volkswagen and to others who would consider gaming the system that it does not pay to cheat.”
The deal approved today offers a combination of a projected emissions modification or buybacks for older 3.0-liter models. If a government-approved modification can’t be found, VW will have to buy back all the vehicles, which could increase its costs for this settlement to as much as $4 billion.
Elizabeth Cabraser, Lead Counsel and Chair of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee, said that less than one-percent of drivers have opted out of the settlement or objected to its terms, and further noted that more than 70% of affected drivers have already registered to be included in the settlement. “We are faced with a very high level of participation,” Cabraser stated.
The settlement also includes numerous federal and state agencies, and requires VW to pay $225 million for enrivonmental remediation on top of $2.7 billion already slated for such efforts. Judge Breyer separately approved a settlement with parts manufacturer Robert Bosch GmbH resolving charges that Bosch aided VW in the fraud by crafting “defeat device” software enabling fraudulently reduced emissions figures during official testing.
Owners and lessees can learn more about the settlements at the official VW emissions settlement website.