|Stats: 283 members, 6,367 topics. Date: March 1, 2017, 2:02 pm|
Volkswagen has revealed details of a $14.7bn (£11bn) settlement in the United States relating to its diesel emissions tests scandal. In the largest consumer class-action settlement within the automobile industry in US history, the company must offer to buy back almost all of the 475,000 cars affected, or terminate their leases, at a cost of just over $10bn (£7.5bn). Car owners will be able to choose whether they sell their car back to Volkswagen or get a repair, however the federal court in San Francisco says there is currently no level of repair available that will make the cars compliant with US pollution regulations. Any repairs proposed by VW must be approved by the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board.
Depending on the age of their vehicle, US owners of VW cars with 2.0 litre diesel engines will be compensated by between $5,100 and $10,000.The average value of a VW diesel vehicle has fallen by 19% since before the scandal began in September 2015. Those who choose the buy-back option, will therefore be eligible to the trade value of their car before this date. In addition, the company has to pay $2.7bn for environmental mitigation and another $2bn for research on zero-emissions technology, a source told AP.Elisabeth Cabraser, who represented the consumers who sued the company, said: "This historic agreement holds Volkswagen accountable for its betrayal of consumer trust and requires Volkswagen to repair the environmental damage it caused."
Volkswagen have admitted that during government lab tests, the 2.0 litre diesel engines were programmed to turn emissions controls on, and then turn them off again once on the road, and got away with the scheme for seven years. VW is still facing billions more in fines and penalties in the US - including potential criminal charges - and a class action from owners of 3.0 litre diesel cars. The company has admitted there are 11 million vehicles fitted with the cheating software worldwide. It is under pressure to agree compensation for drivers elsewhere - including the UK. It has set aside $18.4bn to cover the cost of the scandal to date.
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