Volkswagen has reached a $4.3 billion settlement over civil and criminal allegations related to the vehicle emissions scandal affecting approximately 590,000 vehicles in the U.S.
The automaker also pled guilty to three counts of criminal felonies, including:
- Acting in a conspiracy to violate the U.S. Clean Air Act and defraud U.S. consumers as well as the government
- Obstruction of justice for the destruction of documents
- Using false information regarding vehicle compliance with U.S. emissions limits to import vehicles into the country
Criminal penalties account for $2.8 billion of the financial settlement, with the remaining $1.5 billion addressing civil claims.
As a condition of this settlement, Volkswagen will spend three years working with an independent monitor. However, the entire settlement is still subject to the approval of a federal court, along with VW management and supervisory boards and the boards of several companies affiliated with the automaker.
VW’s fraudulent actions came to light in September 2015 after the Environmental Protection Agency revealed that some diesel-powered vehicles had emissions-cheating software. This software allowed vehicles to pass emissions tests even though they were emitting illegal levels of nitrogen oxide.
The vehicles involved in this scandal were model-year 2009 to 2016 VWs, Audis and Porsches with 2.0 and 3.0-liter diesel engines.
The $4.3 billion settlement is in addition to the $14.7 billion settlement VW agreed to in July of 2016. The July settlement was the largest in automotive history. Approximately $10 billion of the settlement was allotted to purchase back or repair affected vehicles, with almost $5 billion allocated to environmental remediation.
If you have incurred damages due to the Volkswagen emissions scandal, contact the Volkswagen diesel emissions attorneys at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy. We may be able to help you recover compensation for VW’s fraudulent actions.