VW Judge Approves $1 Billion Drivers’ Diesel-Cheating Accord

Feb. 14, 2017, 8:08 PM

By Kartikay Mehrotra, Bloomberg News

Volkswagen AG won a U.S. judge’s preliminary sign-off on its $1 billion settlement with about 78,000 drivers of premium diesel Audis, VWs and Porsches over the company’s emissions-cheating scandal.

U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer on Tuesday set a May 11 hearing to consider final approval of a deal that resolves the last major U.S. consumer lawsuit facing the German company. The accord also covers claims against technology provider Robert Bosch GmbH.

The agreement requires Volkswagen to compensate owners of 3-liter diesel engine vehicles, fix about 58,000 cars and buy back as many as 20,000 Touareg and Audi Q7 sport utility vehicles. Repurchasing those cars comes on top of VW’s commitment to buy back or repair 482,000 2-liter autos under a previous agreement.

“Today marks another important milestone in Volkswagen’s efforts to make things right,” company spokeswoman Jeannine Ginivan said in a statement. “The proposed 3.0L TDI settlement will build on the substantial progress we are making with our 2.0L TDI settlement program, and provides a fair resolution for remaining affected customers in the United States.”

The carmaker admitted in 2015 that about 11 million diesel cars worldwide were outfitted with so-called defeat devices, embedded algorithms used to game emissions tests. The total cost of penalties, buybacks and fixes in North America could exceed $23 billion as Volkswagen tries to overcome the biggest scandal in modern automotive history.

The case is In Re: Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, 15-02672, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

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