Settlements of up to $15 billion with Volkswagen, Audi and PorscheStaff writer ▼ | June 28, 2016
Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced New York State’s participation in a series of partial settlements with Volkswagen (VW) and its Audi and Porsche affiliates.
Auto fraud Violations of consumer protection laws
As part of the settlements, some of which are still subject to court approval, all owners of 2.0 liter, 4-cylinder engine VW and Audi diesel cars in New York will be entitled to be paid full, pre-scandal fair market value for their vehicle, in addition to a cash payment of at least $5,100.
Under the deal, car owners may also choose to keep their vehicle and wait to see if VW and Audi develop acceptable emissions fixes; car owners who exercise this option will also receive a cash payment of at least $5,100.
The settlements will also direct to New York over $115 million for environmental projects to improve New York’s air quality, as well as over $30 million in additional monetary recoveries for the state’s general fund.
New York State will continue its investigation into the scope of Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche’s illegal conduct and their liability for environmental penalties.
Volkswagen is required to repurchase or modify all of the more than 487,000 2.0 liter engine diesel vehicles that Volkswagen and Audi falsely marketed in the United States as compliant with federal and state emissions standards, when in fact they emitted harmful NOx pollutants at rates many times higher than the law permitted.
Volkswagen will pay about $1,100 per car directly to the states for the companies’ repeated violations of the states’ and other jurisdictions’ laws prohibiting unfair and deceptive marketing and trade practices.
Volkswagen will fund of a $2.7 billion Mitigation Fund. This Fund, which also is subject to court approval, is to be used by all states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to address the harm caused to the environment by Volkswagen’s unlawful diesel vehicles.
Volkswagen’s commitment to invest $2 billion in the United States over the next 10 years for the development of Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV, that is, electric) and supporting infrastructure.
Volkswagen also will pay $20 million to the states for their costs in investigating this matter and to establish a fund that state attorneys general can draw from in future consumer fraud investigations, including of possible violations by automobile manufacturers. ■