Volkswagen: emissions scandal settlement agreed in the US

Volkswagen reaches $15B deal to pay back US customers

As part of the deal, Volkswagen will fund environmental programs to the tune of US$2.7 billion ($3.6 billion) to mitigate the effects of the extra NOx (oxides of nitrogen) that its cars have illegally put into the atmosphere.

Judge Charles R Breyer of the US District Court for the Northern District of California granted final approval to the settlement agreement, which is the biggest automotive scandal settlement ever in the US. Owners can also obtain payouts from $5,100 to $9,852 if they choose the fix. According to court documents, most vehicle owners will get 5,100 to 10,000 dollars in compensation, and VW must buy back or fix 85 percent of the 475,000 vehicles by June 30, 2019, or face penalties of 100 million dollars for every percentage point it falls below 85 percent.

According to New York Times, nearly a million Volkswagen owners who purchased its diesel cars may finally breathe a sigh of release. The vehicle maker marketed and sold 2 and 3 liter diesel engine cars as having lower emissions than they actually had.

Volkswagen Group's $14.7 billion settlement over the infamous dieselgate emission scandal has been approved by a US Federal Judge.

The company will start buying back polluting cars in mid-November. VW will use $10.33 billion for the vehicle buybacks alone, with the rest on programs to offset the excess emissions and development of zero-emissions vehicles. The scandal has rattled VW's global business, harmed its reputation and prompted the ousting of its CEO. It said that operating earnings as a percentage of sales would be at the upper end of its previous outlook range of 5 percent to 6 percent.

The terms of the agreement allow affected 2-liter diesel owners and lessees the choice of accepting a vehicle buyback or lease termination, or having the cars fixed. Customers can either sell their cars back to the German auto company or have them repaired. The order says that 336,612 owners of 2-litre diesels have registered for the settlement and 3,298 have opted out. Owners of eligible vehicles can either submit a paper-based claim form or they can an online portal, www.vwcourtsettlement.com. The carmaker will have to pay additional penalties if 85 percent of cars haven't been taken off the road or modified by June 30, 2019.

Although 2-liter owners in the US will see their bank account balances increase, millions of people outside the USA have complained about not receiving a nickel in compensation.

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