Volkswagen Will Continue Shelling Out Dieselgate Dough

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
volkswagen will continue shelling out dieselgate dough

Even though the United States has already penalized and fined the crap out of Volkswagen for selling vehicles equipped with emissions-cheating defeat devices, the company remains in hot water. Earlier this month, Germany imposed a fine of $1.2 billion over the “dieselgate” scandal.

“Volkswagen accepted the fine and it will not lodge an appeal against it,” the company said. “Volkswagen, by doing so, admits its responsibility for the diesel crisis and considers this as a further major step towards the latter being overcome.”

On Monday, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals also upheld a $10 billion settlement between Volkswagen and the owners of 2.0-liter TDI vehicles that came equipped with the illegal software. The ruling pertains to roughly 475,000 customers. VW agreed to offer owners of the 2.0-liter diesels between $5,100 and $10,000 in compensation, in addition to the value of the vehicle.

Thus far, VW has agreed to pay at least $25 billion in the United States over claims from environmental regulators, states, dealerships, and affected customers. It’s also in the midst of buying back or repairing vehicles, a process that should continue continue through the end of 2019.

According to Reuters, the three-judge panel said that, in dismissing a number of objections to the original settlement, it “delivered tangible, substantial benefits to class members, seemingly the equivalent of — or superior to —those obtainable after successful litigation, and was arrived at after a momentous effort.”

Despite its best efforts, Volkswagen is still having trouble getting past the scandal. While the federal government would like to get its hands on former VW chief executive Martin Winterkorn, it seems satisfied for the moment. But problems have persisted in Germany. Audi CEO Rupert Stadler was arrested last month and suspended from his position following a string of raids at Volkswagen Group’s various facilities.

The company also continues spending billions on reclaiming the affected 2.0-liter vehicles, as well as a smaller number of 3.0-liter diesels. Meanwhile, some states have enacted consumer fraud suits of their own. While these claims are peanuts in comparison to the fines imposed by the federal government, they’ve still added millions to the company’s already colossal tab.

[Image: Volkswagen Group]

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  • Rocket Rocket on Jul 10, 2018

    No sympathy from this former TDI owner.

  • Speedlaw Speedlaw on Jul 10, 2018

    Meanwhile, purchased loopholes by truck refurbishers allow a new body and frame, plus a rebuilt diesel which does not meet current standards, to hit the roads. Big Rigs are rolling coal legally. While I have zero sympathy for VW, having read all about the exact, designed in cheat software, and having had a TDi which blew the DPF at 82k miles, I'd think I was being picked on. If VW knew a few political contributions would be all that was needed, they could have saved millions. Meanwhile, "Gliders" sail through a loophole the size of an 18 wheeler.

  • FreedMike I think this illustrates a bit of Truth About PHEVs: it's hard to see where they "fit." On paper, they make sense because they're the "best of both worlds." Yes, if you commute 20-30 miles a day, you can generally make it on electric power only, and yes, if you're on a 500-mile road trip, you don't have to worry about range. But what percentage of buyers has a 20-mile commute, or takes 500-mile road trips? Meanwhile, PHEVs are more expensive than hybrids, and generally don't offer the performance of a BEV (though the RAV4 PHEV is a first class sleeper). Seems this propulsion type "works" for a fairly narrow slice of buyers, which explains why PHEV sales haven't been all that great. Speaking for my own situation only, assuming I had a place to plug in every night, and wanted something that ran on as little gas as possible, I'd just "go electric" - I'm a speed nut, and when it comes to going fast, EVs are awfully hard to beat. If I was into hypermiling, I'd just go with a hybrid. Of course, your situation might vary, and if a PHEV fits it, then by all means, buy one. But the market failure of PHEVs tells me they don't really fit a lot of buyers' situations. Perhaps that will change as charging infrastructure gets built out, but I just don't see a lot of growth in PHEVs.
  • Kwik_Shift Thank you for this. I always wanted get involved with racing, but nothing happening locally.
  • Arthur Dailey Love the Abe Rothstein tribute suits. Too bad about the car. Seems to have been well loved for most of its life.
  • K. R. Worth noting that the climate control is shared with (donated to) the Audi 5000 of the mid-late 1980s.
  • Sloomis Looks like 108,000 miles to me, not 80,000. Not much better though...