$14.7 Billion Volkswagen Settlement Receives Court Approval

volkswagen car and sign

Volkswagen AG today obtained final approval for a $14.7 billion settlement that will resolve consumer and environmental claims related to hundreds of thousands of diesel vehicles equipped with illegal emissions cheating technology.

The settlement, which U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer signed off on this morning, will allow people who own or lease affected Volkswagen 2.0-liter diesel cars to sell back their vehicle at a premium over what it was worth before the scandal became public last fall.

Volkswagen will pay as much as $10 billion to compensate those consumers.

In addition to consumer compensation, the settlement establishes a pair of environmental remediation funds intended to offset the excess pollution caused by Volkswagen’s decision to equip its diesel fleet with defeat devices: illegal technology that allowed the vehicles to pass emissions tests despite emitting more pollution than allowed during actual driving conditions.

A $2.7 billion fund will be used for air quality improvement projects, including upgrading older diesel engines, and a $2 billion fund that will be used to promote the development and adoption of zero emissions vehicle technology.

The settlement won’t solve all of Volkswagen’s diesel problems: the company still faces ongoing criminal investigations in Germany and the U.S., as well as claims over 3.0-liter diesel vehicles that aren’t covered under the settlement.

Watch Patrick Ambrosio for the full story later today.