Volkswagen AG garnered preliminary approval Tuesday for a $14.7 billion settlement with U.S. drivers of diesel-powered autos after it was discovered VW rigged some of its autos to trick emissions testing into showing lower pollution readings.
The deal gives drivers of 475,000 diesel-powered autos with 2-liter engines as much as $5,100 to $10,000 compensation plus the option of either selling back their cars or having them repaired to be compliant with U.S. emissions standards.
Volkswagen admitted in September 2015 that it used software specially designed to cheat emissions tests and deceive state and federal regulators on certain VW and Audi-branded turbocharged, direct injection diesel vehicle models between 2009 and 2015.
U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer granted preliminary approval saying the settlement was “fair, adequate and reasonable.”
Consumers nationwide filed hundreds of lawsuits against VW after the company admitted it installed the defeat devices in cars. The cases were combined and 832 were transferred to Breyer and a settlement negotiated.
Separate lawsuits were brought by federal government agencies alleging violation of the Clean Air Act and Federal Trade Commission law. Breyer appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a settlement master to oversee negotiations with the government agencies. In June a partial consent degree and settlement were reached, but was amended Tuesday. Talks on 3-liter diesel engine vehicles continue, according to Breyer.
A final fairness hearing will be held October 18 after class members have been given an opportunity to comment on the terms.
Case: In re: Volkswagen “Clean diesel” Marketing, No. 2672 MDL