Volkswagen Dieselgate Settlement Gets Green Light from Judge

By Paul Riegler on 26 July 2016
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DSC_0193Volkswagen’s proposed settlement to get some 480,000 vehicles with 2.0-liter diesel engines off the road in the United States received preliminary approval from the judge handling the case.

The move by U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer opens the door for final approval later this year after giving the opportunity to those objecting to the settlement the opportunity to speak.

The plan calls for buybacks and possible fixes for owners of the impacted vehicles, which have a defeat device that allowed the cars to pollute more than standards allow except during emissions tests.

Under the terms of the settlement, VW owners will get a minimum of $5,100 each as part of a buyback program that would start in October and continue through June 30, 2019, the deadline for VW to get 85% of impacted cars recalled. If it fails to reach that figure, it will have to pay $85 million more into an environmental mitigation trust for each percentage point it falls short as well as an additional $13.5 million for each percentage point there is a shortfall below the target in California.

“As it appears in your presentation today, as it appeared when you filed your documents, that an enormous effort has been devoted to achieving a series of goals,” said Breyer on Tuesday from the bench. “I think from what I’ve seen, those goals have been achieved, at least preliminarily.”

A final approval hearing is set for October 18.

Owners of impacted vehicles will be able to sell their cars back to VW or terminate their lease without any penalties or keep the car and receive a modification to the car’s emissions system that will bring it into compalince. In either event, customers will also receive a cash payment from the embattled automaker.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)