On Tuesday, a federal judge in San Francisco formally approved a $14.7 billion settlement of the Volkswagen (VW) emissions-cheating scandal, the largest settlement of an auto scandal in the history of the United States.
The settlement allows owners of approximately 475,000 vehicles with emissions-cheating software to have their vehicles bought back by VW.
Owners of some vehicles model years 2009 to 2015 with 2-liter diesel engines could receive between $12,500 and $44,000 for their vehicles.
Owners can also opt to have their cars fixed and receive up to $10,000 in compensation.
The settlement says that leases on cars affected by the scandal can be ended without penalty and leaseholders can request cash payments.
The settlement also requires VW to give $5 billion to support environmental programs, reduce harmful emissions and promote the development of emissions-neutral vehicles.
VW plans to immediately implement the various parts of the settlement. The automaker will hire 900 people to assist with buybacks and will put one employee per dealership at all 625 VW dealerships in the U.S.
The settlement does not apply to 90,000 VW cars equipped with 3.0-liter engines. The automaker is still negotiating a possible settlement with regulators and consumer lawyers.
VW also agreed to three other settlements on Tuesday that are related to the $14.7 billion settlement.
One settlement is with the U.S. Department of Justice, the California attorney general’s office, the California Air Resources Board and the Environmental Protection Agency. Another settlement is with the Federal Trade Commission and a third is with owners.
In September, VW agreed to a $1.2 billion deal with U.S. car dealerships to compensate them for losses caused by the emissions-cheating scandal.
If you own a car affected by the emissions-cheating scandal, contact the Volkswagen diesel emissions lawyers at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy to review your legal options. We are firmly committed to holding automakers responsible when they defraud consumers.