CAS Statement on Volkswagen $15 Billion Emissions Settlement

October 25, 2016

Judge Charles Breyer of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California today gave final approval for a $14.7 billion settlement in the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal.  This settlement provides owners of 475,000 VW TDI diesels with two options:

  1. Owners may sell their vehicle back to Volkswagen and receive compensation based on Model, Model Year, Body Style, and Region
  2. Owners can elect to receive compensation for lost resale value while they await a fix for the emissions issue. VW has proposed a fix that has yet to be approved by the EPA.

Additionally, the settlement requires VW to contribute $2.7 billion to mitigate environmental harm as well as $2.0 billion in support of clean emissions technology.

Volkswagen has yet to announce compensation for owners of approximately 85,000 3.0 liter diesels, and faces additional civil and criminal penalties from federal and state governments.

CAS Staff Attorney Michael Brooks:

“It is great news that VW diesel owners can now be reimbursed, and that Volkswagen must begin to repair the environmental damage their emissions deception caused.  However, automakers will not change their illegal behavior unless the government pursues significant criminal penalties against executives who take or condone such actions.  We look forward to news of federal criminal charges against the VW executives who participated in this fraud on the American public.”

Safe Climate Campaign Director Dan Becker:

“The government did a good job preventing further harm from VW’s diesel fraud. Most heavily polluting diesels will be removed from the road and cannot be resold unless fixed. Other automakers must learn from this scandal that they dare not disable pollution controls, lie to the government or fleece consumers. Those lessons will be reinforced when the government brings criminal charges against VW officals who perpetrated this fraud.”

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CAS has a long history in working on motor vehicle fuel economy and emissions dating back to the early 1970’s. The Safe Climate Campaign headed by Dan Becker is a program of CAS.