Nathan Borney
USA Today
11 May 2017
 
A federal judge said Thursday that he would approve Volkswagen Group's $1.2 billion buybacks-and-repairs settlement with owners of six-cylinder diesel engine vehicles that were not included in the company's separate deal for car owners.
The move paves the way for the automaker to begin buying back about 20,000 polluting diesel vehicles, providing free fixes for another 63,000 and delivering extra payouts to each group.
 
The deal, approved by Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco, adds to a separate settlement of nearly $15 billion in which VW must buy back or repair nearly half a million 2-liter diesel vehicles.
 
The judge on Thursday also approved a separate settlement in which VW supplier Bosch must pay $327.5 million to consumers, including $350 payments to 2-liter car owners and up to $1,500 each to 3-liter owners.
 
“These agreements accomplish our goal of making the consumers harmed by Volkswagen’s emissions deception whole, while repairing or removing illegally polluting vehicles from our roads," VW plaintiffs attorney Elizabeth Cabraser said in a statement. "We believe the substantial compensation and steps to repair or remove polluting cars from the roads detailed in the settlements provide excellent value to consumers and hold Volkswagen and Bosch accountable for their breach of consumer trust.”
 
 
In the latest deal, owners of the diesel versions of the 2009 to 2012 Volkswagen Touareg and 2009 to 2012 Audi Q7 will qualify for a buyback at retail value because those vehicles cannot be feasibly retrofitted into compliance. In addition to a buyback, they'll get cash payouts ranging from $7,755 to $13,880.
 
Owners of the following vehicles will get free repairs: the 2013 to 2016 Volkswagen Touareg, 2013 to 2015 Audi Q7, 2013 to 2016 Porsche Cayenne and 2014 to 2016 Audi A6 quattro, A7 quattro, A8, A8L and Q5. They'll also get cash payouts of $7,039 to $13,880.
 
If VW can't come up with an Environmental Protection Agency-authorized repair for the second group, it will be required to offer a buyback to those customers, as well, making the total settlement worth $4 billion.
 
VW hailed the deal's approval as "an important milestone" and pledged to notify owners of their eligibility as soon as a written order is filed.
 
On top of the consumer compensation, the company must also pay $225 million for environmental remediation after the 3-liter diesel vehicles spewed nitrogen oxide at excessive rates.
 
VW has admitted to and apologized for rigging 11 million vehicles worldwide with software to dodge emissions tests.
 
Vehicle owners can sign up for the 3-liter diesel settlement and receive compensation through Dec. 31, 2019.
 
Featured Image: Reuters