VW emissions scandal USA: $14.7 billion settlement gets initial approval

by Jimi Beckwith and Doug Revolta, Autocar UK Jul 28, 2016


Volkswagen has been given preliminary approval for its US$ 14.7 billion (around Rs 98,535 crore) settlement with owners of cars in the US affected by the emissions scandal.

The money will be used to compensate some 475,000 drivers, and the settlement figure could get final approval on October 18 at a hearing.

Owners can choose between getting the software fix or selling their car back to VW. They will also get additional compensation payments of between US$ 5100 (Rs 3.20 lakh) to US$ 10,000 (Rs 6.31 lakh), regardless of which choice they make.

Volkswagen continues to draw criticism from political figures as it stands by its decision to not offer compensation to European customers, despite the mounting pressure to do so.

Spokesmen from Volkswagen have claimed that compensation is not necessary in the UK and the rest of Europe, because the fix is less extensive and customers will therefore have their cars back soon after they have been recalled.

The compensation scheme that has been reached is still not a final conclusion, however, as it still needs to be officially approved by a US judge on 18 October before compensation and the buy-back scheme can commence.

A further US$ 2 billion (around Rs 13,400 crore) will be put into the development of zero-emissions vehicles, such as hydrogen fuel cell cars and electric vehicles, while US$ 2.7 billion (around Rs 18,100 crore) will be put into environmental mitigation.

In the UK, it was recently revealed that Volkswagen offered to cover the cost of government retesting of vehicle emissions. However, the offer was only extended to Volkswagen Group vehicles, rather than all of the cars tested from various manufacturers, which reportedly cost a total of Rs 17.7 crore.

The results of the retesting scheme revealed that only Volkswagen Group products used the so-called ‘defeat devices’, the discovery of which sparked the emissions scandal.

VW also reached a "partial settlement" with 44 US states last month for a total of £61 billion (Rs 600,423 crore).

In a further move, the states of Maryland, New York and Massachusetts are all filing lawsuits against the manufacturer, accusing it of violating state environmental laws and defrauding regulators, according to Reuters. These lawsuits would be in addition to the US$ 14.7 billion compensation package.

Source: Autocar UK

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