After months, Volkswagen has reached a finalized $14.7 billion deal with the U.S. federal government to buy back and repair emissions-cheating two-liter diesel engine vehicles. The deal is the largest settlement payout by an automaker in U.S. history and will affect both current and previous diesel owners.
Owner’s options: buyback or repair
Of the $14.7 billion settlement, more than $10 billion will be dedicated to fixing or buying back 475,000 VW diesels on the road in the U.S. Current eligible owners will have two choices:
- Buyback: Sell the affected vehicle back to VW at a pre-scandal (i.e. before September 2015) price value or terminate your vehicle lease, PLUS get $5,000 to $10,000 cash-back in remediation.
- Repair: Have VW fix the emissions-cheating software free of charge, PLUS get $5,000 to $10,000 cash-back in remediation.
Former owners who owned an affected diesel vehicle before September 18, 2015 and sold or traded in their diesels before June 28, 2016 are entitled to between $5,000 and $10,000 cash-back in remediation if they did not opt out of the settlement.
The buyback and fix program will begin sometime in Fall 2016 and last until December 1, 2018 at which time VW is required to have replaced or fixed 85% (more than 40,000) of the affected vehicles. If VW fails to meet this requirement, it will face hundreds of millions of dollars in extra fines from the federal government.
Other settlement terms and pending litigations
The remainder of the settlement will be divided between U.S. environmental and technology initiatives as compensation for the environmental damage VW’s diesel scandal has caused:
- $2.7 billion will be dedicated toward an environmental remediation trust fund set up by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
- $2 billion will fund American clean energy technology development programs.
Note that the $14.7 billion deal is only concerned with two-liter diesels at this time. A buyback/repair plan for the more than 85,000 three-liter Audi, Porsche, or VW diesels on the road is not yet available. The two-liter diesel deal took priority for both VW and U.S. regulators, so a three-liter diesel deal may be reached in the coming months.
Additionally, VW faces almost 40 separate lawsuits from Arizona, Kentucky, New Jersey, New Mexico, Texas, and West Virginia. These lawsuits will be heard in state courts rather than federal courts and will address car owners of those particular states only. How these state lawsuits will affect owners’ eligibility for participating in the $14.7 billion federal deal has yet to be determined.
Get legal help
If you purchased any of the following two-liter diesel vehicles between 2009 and 2016, you may be eligible for legal compensation and the new buyback or repair options:
- Audi A3 (2010-2015)
- Volkswagen Beetle & Beetle Convertible (2013-2015)
- Volkswagen Golf (2010-2015)
- Volkswagen Golf SportWagen (2015)
- Volkswagen Jetta & Jetta SportWagen (2009-2014)
- Volkswagen Passat (2012-2015)
Even if you own a three-liter VW, Audi, or Porsche diesel vehicle that was affected by the scandal, contact a Verified Personal Injury Attorney. An attorney can protect your interests in court and fight for the compensation you need.