Case Update: $1.22 Billion Settlement Reached in Volkswagen/Audi Diesel Emissions Scandal

TDI Transport Truck Loaded
Justice in action: Attorney Mark Allan, of Heygood, Orr & Pearson, took this picture of several vehicles at a Texas dealership bought back by Volkswagen as part of the settlement agreement. Allan, a member of the Volkswagen Class Action Litigation Team, said the truck-driver informed him that all the surrendered vehicles are taken to an abandoned airfield in Palo Pinto, Texas.

Drivers will now see fewer Volkswagen Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDI) vehicles on the road. Volkswagens, Audis and Porsches will be seen less and less after a federal judge in San Francisco approved a settlement requiring German automaker Volkswagen AG to pay at least $1.22 billion to either repair or buy back approximately 80,000 3.0-liter vehicles in the United States linked to the company’s diesel emissions scandal. Thousands of the vehicles have already been taken out of use and transported to massive holding lots across the country.

U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer granted final approval for the settlement, which will affect nearly 80,000 Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche 3.0-liter TDI vehicles. As part of the settlement, owners of the 58,000 affected 2013-2016 Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche 3.0-liter TDI V6 “Generation 2” vehicles may have their cars repaired free-of-charge plus receive additional monetary compensation. For the owners of the 20,000 affected 2009-2012 Volkswagen and Audi “Generation 1” models, they can elect to either have their vehicles repaired free-of-charge with additional monetary compensation or sell their vehicle back to Volkswagen.

Eligible vehicle owners have until June 1, 2019 (Generation 1) or December 31, 2019 (Generation 2) to submit the necessary paperwork. To begin the process, visit the Owners Claim Portal.

The settlement comes more than one year after Volkswagen admitted to circumventing emissions standards in the United States by installing deceptive software in its diesel vehicles, allowing them to emit 40 times the legal limit of pollutants.

Last fall, Judge Breyer approved a separate $14.7 billion settlement for Volkswagen, requiring the automaker to buy back 475,000 2.0-liter vehicles that also had deceptive emissions software. Volkswagen engineer James Robert Liang plead guilty in September 2016 for his role in the diesel emission cheating scandal. He faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Volkswagen still faces ongoing criminal investigation.

Simmons Hanly Conroy has been on the front lines of this litigation. Partner Jayne Conroy serves on the Plaintiff’s Executive Committee for the Volkswagen MDL, which represents the class of vehicle owners and competing dealers. The case is No. 2672, In Re: Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation.

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