With regard to the infamous diesel emissions scandal, German automaker Volkswagen has been granted final approval for the proposed $14.7 billion compensation deal. This settlement agreement will most likely resolve the ongoing tussle between the automaker and drivers suing the company for cheating and lying to them.
Under this compensation plan, approved by U.S district judge Charles Breyer, Volkswagen will provide the drivers of over 475,000 Volkswagen diesel-powered vehicles with two choices. The drivers could either choose to terminate their lease and sell their vehicle back to the automotive company or wait for a government approved emissions modification that would allow your same cars to stay on road — while (of course!) complying with pollution safety standards.
In addition, Volkswagen will also offer additional monetary compensation, between $5,100 and $10,000 , to all current and former owners of cars, including Beetles, Passats, and Audi A3s implicated in this emissions scandal. As for consumers who’re willing to wait for the free emissions modifications, have until September 2018 to make their final decision.
The company has already set aside about $10 million it would require for buybacks and repairs it offers to ailing consumers. The remaining $4.7 billion compensation will be utilized towards greener tech initiatives, including a $2.7 billion investment into an environmental trust over the period of next three years and another $2 billion into zero emissions vehicle (ZEV) infrastructure over the next ten years.
Commenting on the approval of this action plan, Hinrich J. Woebcken, President and CEO of Volkswagen Group (America) said,
Final approval of the 2.0L TDI settlement is an important milestone in our journey to making things right in the United States, and we appreciate the efforts of all parties involved in this process.
Volkswagen is committed to ensuring that the program is now carried out as seamlessly as possible for our affected customers and has devoted significant resources and personnel to making their experience a positive one.
For those unaware, a grave truth about the pollution safety standards for Volkswagen vehicles came to light last year. The company was implicated of using devices and software patches meant to trick emission tests. This caused all of their extensive range of vehicles launched after 2009 to spew higher-than-legal levels of pollutants. The company board was then criticized for fooling its customers and the hubbub surrounding this emissions scandal also led to the exit of American group CEO Martin Winterkorn.
Finally, the approval statement says that Volkswagen needs to either buyback or fix at least 85 percent of the affected vehicles to save itself from further penalties. This compensation action in itself is enough punishment for this cycle of unfortunate events faced by the renowned German automobile manufacturer. On a high note, your Audi would soon contribute towards a greener and sustainable planet.