Volkswagen Finally Reaches an Agreement for Its Dirty 3.0-liter Diesels

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

After a seemingly endless legal drama, Volkswagen AG has reached an agreement with the U.S. owners of roughly 83,000 emissions-cheating VW, Porsche and Audi vehicles equipped with 3.0-liter diesel engines.

Like the earlier settlement for 2.0-liter defeat device-equipped models, this agreement includes a combination of buybacks, fixes and cash payments. Owners of 2.0-liter models have long since counted their “we’re sorry” money, but these buyers will have to wait just a bit longer before finding out what payment to expect for their premium ride.

It’s not a small sum, apparently.

After many extended deadlines, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer announced the agreement in a San Francisco courtroom today, Bloomberg reports. Both sides were given the weekend to hammer out final details, with the deadline extended an extra day.

The agreement covers 2009-2016 VW Touareg, Porsche Cayenne and Audi Q7 SUVs, along with a selection of other Audi models. Vehicles that can’t be fixed will be bought back by the company. Of course, that’s assuming U.S. regulators approve a fix. (P ast attempts failed).

After such a long wait for information and compensation, owners still aren’t in the loop just yet. Full details of the settlement weren’t disclosed at today’s hearing. However, the automaker issued a media release claiming 63,000 affected vehicles with Generation 2 engines should be fixable, with the remainder due for a date with the crusher (unless a more intensive fix is found). The Generation 1 engines are found in 2009-2012 models.

While VW is confident that the newer models can be fixed, there’s a Plan B:

If Volkswagen is unable to meet this requirement, it will offer to buy back or terminate the leases of these vehicles and may also seek approval by EPA and CARB to offer customers a modification to substantially reduce their nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions.

As part of the settlement, VW must pay $225 million into a federal environmental trust fund to offset the damage done by the vehicles. A further $25 million goes to California to support the use of zero-emission vehicles.

EPA assistant administrator Cynthia Giles claims the total cost of the agreement — including the recalls and buybacks — should hit $1 billion, Automotive News reports.

According to Reuters, Breyer claimed owners would receive “substantial compensation” on top of any fix or buyback. The exact numbers aren’t fully fleshed out, so we’ll likely learn more from a Thursday progress hearing.

German supplier Robert Bosch GmbH, which was fingered in the diesel emissions scandal, will reportedly pay more than $300 million to settle allegations from diesel owners.

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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