By on December 17, 2015


Kenneth Feinberg, the lawyer who handled claims against General Motors for its faulty ignition switches that killed 124 people, will handle claims against Volkswagen stemming from its cheating diesel engines, the automaker announced Thursday.

“His extensive experience in handling such complex matters will help to guide us as we move forward to make things right with our customers,” Michael Horn, president of Volkswagen Group of America, said in a statement.

In addition to Feinberg’s experience with GM, his office also handled claims against BP for its Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

According to Automotive News, Feinberg had been nominated by plaintiffs’ lawyers to manage claims against the automaker. Those claims may be managed out-of-court, with a settlement that would preclude any further claims against the automaker, according to the report

In the announcement, Feinberg said, “we hope to have a claims program designed as expeditiously as possible,” which I’ve learned is lawyer-speak for “How much will it cost to get you out of my office as soon as possible?” — Aaron.

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21 Comments on “Volkswagen Hires High-profile Disaster Lawyer Feinberg To Handle Claims...”

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    We’ve hired a big time lawyer who “will help to guide us as we move forward to make things right with our customers.”

    I’ve just hired a cat to guide me as I move forward to make things right with the mice living in my barn.

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    Who didn’t see this coming, eh?

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    If I had the governments of several nations after me I believe that I’d get lawyered up myself.

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    I still think that this debacle will be the end of VW, as we know it. They will have to sell off one or two brands to pay for all of the fines, settlements and attorneys’ fees. Especially in light of falling credit scores for their bonds and rising interest rates. They still have a product mix unsuited to North American tastes and therefore, no way to make up for the loss of 25% of sales due to no more diesels. The new, lower, sales volume may well thin the ranks of the dealers too.
    Will Feinberg be parceling some of VWs cash out to these victims of the scandal too??

    • 0 avatar

      This may be a bigger deal in Germany than in the US because VW just is not a player in the US.

      In China, VW emissions pollution is not measurable by the pollution already in the air there, so that is a non-starter.

      In America the EPA will assess a token fine and all’s well that ends well.

      When you get down to the real nitty-gritty, just how many people in the US care about anything VW? In the overall scheme of things? Not many.

      • 0 avatar

        Judging from recent EPA fines, I doubt it will be a token amount. Bringing the older diesels into compliance or buy back will be expensive. The biggest expense may well be the restoration of confidence in VW’s brand.

        • 0 avatar

          No matter what the fine, VW’s profits around the globe are ginormous. VW won’t even miss it.

          Toyota just paid their fine for the trumped up charges against them and then raised prices on their products so buyers would end up reimbursing Toyota for the fine paid.

          Restoration of confidence in VW’s brand… yeah, but only for those buyers predisposed to buy VW to begin with.

          Would you happen to know what VW’s market share in the US is? I don’t, but I cannot foresee that it is impactful.

          • 0 avatar

            …Toyota just paid their fine for the trumped up charges against them and then raised prices on their products so buyers would end up reimbursing Toyota for the fine paid…

            That’s why the Camry, the number one selling sedan in the US has the lowest ATP in it’s class – because Toyota raised the prices. I also believe the Tundra has the lowest ATP in its class. The Corolla is toward the bottom of its class. The Prius is dirt cheap compared to other hybrids.

            So what prices did they jack up compared to the competition, soft inflation, and fluctuations in USD?


            TTAC also wrote in detail how the charges were not “trumped up.”

          • 0 avatar

            APaGttH, what you wrote may apply to your area, but Toyota prices on all their vehicles remain higher in my area than those of Nissan, Hyundai, KIA and Mazda.

            Maybe selective market pricing? Maybe prices lower in CA, the biggest car market in the US?

        • 0 avatar

          I am still anxiously waiting to hear what the USA solution is, hoping for a buy back personally. I feel like the longer we wait, the more likely that is.

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    It is about the first right thing that VW has done in handling this situation. They better have A LOT of zeroes in his checkbook.

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    I’m Winston Wolf. I solve problems.

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    It’s taken a long time for the Volks brass to come to their senses. How many nonsensical press releases and statements have we seen? It seems they never watched the youtube video “Don’t Talk to Cops”. In Murica, when facing serious legal charges, first thing to do is zip your lip, second is hire the best attorney you can afford.

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    Remember, this is the same guy who built the settlement program for BP after the gulf spill. the same plan BP then spent years in court unsuccessfully trying to change. I think between this, and the court case being heard in CA are both good news for US TDI owners

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    I want to be a brilliant Jewish lawyer in my next life but I’ll probably come back as a Steelers fan.

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    Kenneth Feinberg managed the 911 compensation fund and wrote an absolutely fascinating book about it, titled What is Life Worth?
    This is perhaps the most compassionate/pragmatic person you could imagine, and a perfect mediator. He also managed the BP Gulf Oil spill fund. Immensely smart man.
    …and I don’t think he “built” the BP settlement plan, but he did agree to implement it as fairly as humanly possible.

  • avatar

    ….and when his work is done perhaps he can also help VW with legal issues surrounding their bankruptcy as they leave the U.S. Market…..

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