The Volkswagen Group on Tuesday announced it reached a $1 billion settlement with regulators in the United States to resolve claims related to its vehicles fitted with 3.0-liter diesel engines. The settlement still needs to be approved by U.S. District Judge Charles R. Breyer, who is presiding over cases related to the automaker’s diesel emissions scandal.
The vehicles, which were sold under the Audi, Porsche and Volkswagen brands, feature the same “defeat device” software as the VW Group’s 2.0-liter diesel engine used to hide true emission levels from regulators. The automaker reached an $18 billion settlement for the 2.0-liter engines in June, which was approved by Breyer in October.
The latest settlement, inked out with the Department of Justice, Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board, is much smaller as it relates to approximately 85,000 vehicles compared to the 2.0-liter engine settlement which relates to almost 500,000 vehicles.
Under the deal, VW would be able to recall around 75 percent of the vehicles to install a fix that will get them onto the right side of regulations. (The fix still needs to be approved by the EPA and CARB.) The owners of the remaining 25 percent of vehicles, mostly older models, would be given a buyback offer. There would also be some monetary relief for owners, though final numbers are still being worked out.
As part of the settlement, VW has also agreed to pay $225 million into an environmental trust to deal with excess emissions from affected vehicles, plus a further $25 million to support the use of zero emissions vehicles in California.
As mentioned above, the settlement will be effective and final only after approval by Breyer, which is expected to come at the earliest in spring 2017. Owners of the affected vehicles can get further information at the website www.VWCourtSettlement.com.
Separately, VW has also reached a settlement with regulators in Canada related to the 2.0-liter engines. The automaker will spend approximately $1.6 billion in a buyback campaign for 105,000 vehicles. In addition, VW will pay $11.2 million as a civil penalty.
Below is a list of vehicles fitted with the 3.0-liter engine:
2009-2016 Volkswagen Touareg TDI
2013-2016 Porsche Cayenne Diesel
2014-2016 Audi A6 TDI
2014-2016 Audi A7 TDI
2014-2016 Audi A8 TDI
2014-2016 Audi Q5 TDI
2009-2015 Audi Q7 TDI