Judge Approves Final Volkswagen Consumer Settlement

Judge approves $1.2B Volkswagen settlement

Judge approves emissions-cheating settlement for 3-liter VWs

U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer gave the deal final approval during a hearing Thursday. The agreement ends most of the litigation over VW's cheating scandal, which became public in 2015.

The emission-cheating scheme has cost Volkswagen more than $20 billion in fines and settlements, in addition to goodwill among some US drivers. Last month, former deputy USA attorney general Larry Thompson was tapped to serve as independent monitor of Volkswagen for three years under a Justice Department plea agreement over its excess emissions.

Robert Giuffra, lead attorney for Volkswagen, said of Breyer's likely approval of its 3-liter settlement: "If the court approves these settlements, it means that we have reached a resolution is for every single diesel vehicle in the United States, almost 600,000. We have to get these cars fixed or off the road and give consumers confidence they know how they're going to go forward with perhaps the biggest investment in their life or perhaps the most necessary - having a auto'".

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Under the agreement, Volkswagen will fix 58,000 2013-16 Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche 3.0L TDI V-6 vehicles and buy back another 20,000 2009-2012 Volkswagen and Audi 3.0L TDI V-6 vehicles.

The earlier settlement concluded in a $14.7-billion deal, finalized in October 2016, to lay to rest claims over some 500,000 two-liter diesel engine vehicles tainted by emissions-cheating software.

Resolution of the civil case comes after another federal judge ordered the German auto maker in April to pay a $2.8 billion criminal fine as part of a plea deal with US prosecutors.

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Under the VW settlement that must be approved by a US judge, owners of 3.0 liter vehicles who opt for fixes will get compensation of between $7,000 and $16,000 from Volkswagen if emissions fixes are approved in a timely fashion.

The lead attorney for consumer plaintiffs, Elizabeth Cabraser, praised the deal for compensating consumers and keeping polluting vehicles off the road. Additionally, the compensation to all groups of owners will be available right away, as VW sends settlement specialists to dealerships.

Also dragged into the scandal is Bosch, the company that provided the engine control units that VW fudged to create the false emission readings.

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Volkswagen has reached an agreement with 3.0-liter V6 TDI owners for the recall and fix of Audi, Porsche and VW vehicles so equipped. Regulators have said that in normal driving they emitted up to 40 times more smog-causing nitrogen oxide than the legal limit. Volkswagen has admitted to installing the software on almost 600,000 diesel-powered vehicles in the US and some 11 million vehicles globally.

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