The parties announced on June 28, 2016, that Volkswagen AG reached settlement agreements with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and the State of California; the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC); and private Plaintiffs represented by the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC) to resolve civil claims regarding nitrogen oxide emitting Volkswagen and Audi 2.0L TDI diesel engine vehicles in the United States. Approximately 460,000 Volkswagen and 15,000 Audi vehicles are currently in use and eligible for buybacks and lease terminations or emissions modifications, if approved by regulators.
The parties submitted three agreements to Judge Charles R. Breyer of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, who presides over the federal Multi-District Litigation (MDL) proceedings related to the diesel matter. Judge Breyer is considering: (1) a Consent Decree filed with the Court by the DOJ on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and by the State of California by and through the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the California Attorney General; (2) a Consent Order submitted by the FTC; and (3) a proposed class settlement agreement with the PSC on behalf of a nationwide settlement class of current and certain former owners and lessees of eligible 2.0L TDI Volkswagen and Audi vehicles. The parties continue to work expeditiously to reach an agreed resolution for affected vehicles with 3.0L TDI V-6 diesel engines.
Additionally, Volkswagen reached a settlement with the attorneys general of 44 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to resolve existing and potential state consumer protection claims related to the diesel matter for a total settlement amount of approximately $603 million.
Proposed 2.0L TDI Settlements
Subject to Court approval of the proposed 2.0L TDI settlement program, Volkswagen has agreed to:
• Buy back or terminate the leases of eligible vehicles, or provide free emissions modifications (if approved by the EPA and CARB), and also make cash payments to affected current and certain former owners and lessees.
• Volkswagen will establish a single funding pool to cover the 2.0L TDI settlement program. The maximum funding amount will not exceed $10.033 billion and is dependent on how many customers participate in the program and which option they choose if proposed modifications are approved.
• Customers can choose to sell back their vehicle to Volkswagen or terminate their lease without penalty, or, if a modification is approved, choose to have their vehicle modified free of charge and keep it. Customers who select any of these options will also receive a cash payment from Volkswagen.
• An eligible vehicle’s value for a buyback will be determined based on the Clean Trade-In Value as published in the September 2015 edition of the NADA Used Car Guide, with adjustments for factory options and mileage.
• Pay $2.7 billion over three years into an environmental trust, managed by a trustee appointed by the Court, to remediate excess nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from 2.0L TDI vehicles.
• Invest $2.0 billion over 10 years in zero emissions vehicle (ZEV) infrastructure, access and awareness initiatives.
The settlement program will go live as soon as Judge Breyer grants final approval of the agreements. Approval will likely occur in the fall of 2016. Individual class members received packets detailing their rights and options (including the option to “opt out” of the settlement agreement) after the Court granted preliminary approval of the proposed class settlement at the latest hearing on July 26, 2016. The emissions cheat affects the following vehicles:
• VW Jetta (2009-2014)
• VW Beetle (2013-2015)
• VW Golf (2010-2015)
• VW Passat (212-2015)
• VW Toureg (2009-2016)
• Audi A3 (2010-2015)
• Audi A6 Quattro (2014-2016)
• Audi A7 Quattro (2014-2016)
• Audi A8/A8L (2014-2016)
• Audi Q5 (2014-2016)
• Audi Q7 (2009-2015)
• Porsche Cayenne (2014-2016)
Our firm is also representing the Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County, Fla., in a case against Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche to recover statutory penalties for violations of a local clean air ordinance for these allegations. The illegal defeat devices installed in the Defendants’ diesels affect more than 1,000 vehicles in the greater Tampa area. If you own one of the affected vehicles, you may have a claim. You can contact one of our class action lawyers for more details. More information about the proposed 2.0L TDI settlement program, including the settlement agreements in full, can be found at www.VWCourtSettlement.com or www.AudiCourtSettlement.com. Beasley Allen lawyers handling this litigation are Dee Miles, Archie Grubb and Clay Barnett. Our primary staff contacts are Michelle Fulmer and Whitney Gagnon.
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