The Volkswagen emissions saga continues here in the Golden State. A second settlement has been reached in federal court between California, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Justice, and Volkswagen.
In 2013, a team from West Virginia University discovered that Volkswagen had installed software in some of its vehicles that cheated emissions tests. The software, widely known as a “defeat device,” kept emissions levels down during testing. But out on the open road, emissions levels were much, much higher, violating federal and California safety laws.
Angered, consumers sued. The first settlement, valued at $14.7 billion, was approved in October 2016. It applied to some Audis, as well as to many Beetles, Golfs, Jettas, and Passats.
If the January agreement is approved by the court, Volkswagen must do the following:
- pay $225 million to fund emissions projects nationwide;
- offer to buy back vehicles defined as “older” under the agreement or allow owners to terminate leases of those vehicles; and
- repair vehicles defined as “newer” under the agreement (if it proves that it can make them compliant with emissions standards).
If Volkswagen cannot fix the “newer” cars, it will be required to buy them back under the agreement.
Also, if it cannot achieve 85 percent compliance with legal emissions requirements, the company must pay additional money into the trust fund for emissions research and reduction.
The most recent settlement affects several 3.0-liter diesel engines, including Audi A6 Quattros, A7 Quattros, A8, A8L, Q5, and Q7 diesels; Porsche Cayenne diesels; and Volkswagen Touareg diesels. You can visit this website to see whether your car is affected.
If approved by the court, buyback offers will come quickly. The automaker is required to start them within 30 days of court approval.
Car makers have a duty to act responsibly in manufacturing their products. If you or a loved one was injured due to a defective automobile, contact the attorneys at Alexander Law Group, LLP at 888.777.1776 for a free case consultation. Car makers who irresponsibly harm others should be held accountable for their actions.