If Feinberg's name sounds familiar, it's because he just concluded his duties as the administrator of General Motors' victim compensation fund for motorists and family members affected by GM's ignition-switch defects. Under Feinberg, the fund determined 124 motorists were killed in accidents caused by the faulty switches and 275 more were injured.
Feinberg is a regular face when disaster strikes. Previously, he has also administrated funds set up for BP oil spill victims, family members of Sept. 11 victims and an assistance fund established for victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.
"This is a major step in resolving Volkswagen's diesel challenges," said Karl Brauer, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book. "The company's TDI customers are some of its most loyal and passionate, which is why many have felt so disappointed by the events of the past few months. Feinberg's experience in organization and resolving matters between customers and large corporations is exactly what VW needs right now."
In working for Volkswagen, determining the scope of victims may be significantly easier than it was for General Motors. According to the Environmental Protection Agency's two notices of violations served to VW, 482,000 vehicles equipped with 2.0-liter diesel engines and 85,000 more equipped with 3.0-liter engines contain algorithms that helped certain Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche brand vehicles avoid detection of excessive emissions.
Feinberg said he will "commence work immediately designing an independent claims process that will meet claimants' needs. We hope to have a claims program designed as expeditiously as possible."
Dec 17, 2015
Herndon, VA (December 17, 2015) Volkswagen announced today that it has retained attorney Kenneth R. Feinberg, managing partner of The Law Offices of Kenneth R. Feinberg, PC, to design and administer an independent claims resolution program to address claims related to the 2.0L and 3.0L TDI vehicles affected by the emissions compliance issue. Volkswagen believes Mr. Feinberg will develop an independent, fair and swift process for resolving these claims.
"We are pleased to announce the retention of Kenneth Feinberg. His extensive experience in handling such complex matters will help to guide us as we move forward to make things right with our customers," said Michael Horn, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America.
Mr. Feinberg stated that he will "commence work immediately designing an independent claims process that will meet claimants' needs." He added that "we hope to have a claims program designed as expeditiously as possible. In order to do so, we will need the input not only of Volkswagen, but also vehicle owners, their lawyers, and other interested parties."
Mr. Feinberg is a well-respected attorney with extensive experience managing high-profile issues and many of the nation's most challenging legal matters. He was appointed to two presidential commissions by Presidents Reagan and Clinton and administered several other significant programs. More information on Kenneth Feinberg can be found at http://feinberglawoffices.com/
Volkswagen continues to fully cooperate with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) as the Company works to develop approved remedies for the affected TDI vehicles as quickly as possible. As the claims program is developed, Mr. Feinberg will consult these agencies for their input.
For more information regarding the Volkswagen TDI emissions compliance issue, please visit www.vwdieselinfo.com