The Plaintiffs' Committee for Volkswagen "Clean Diesel" Litigation said it was pleased with the approval, as you can read below. The next official step will happen at the final approval hearing on October 18, 2016.
As a reminder, the affected vehicles involved with this settlement include the following with the 2.0-liter diesel engine:
- 2013-2015 VW Beetle
- 2010-2015 VW Golf
- 2009-2015 VW Jetta
- 2012-2015 VW Passat
- 2010-2013 and 2015 Audi A3
Jul 26, 2016
Wolfsburg / Herndon VA 2016-07-26 -- Volkswagen AG announced today that Judge Charles R. Breyer of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California has granted preliminary approval of the settlement agreement reached on June 28 with private plaintiffs represented by the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee (PSC) to resolve civil claims regarding eligible Volkswagen and Audi 2.0L TDI vehicles in the United States.
Individual class members will now receive notification of their rights and options under the agreement. Volkswagen will begin the settlement program immediately after the Court grants final approval to the class settlement, which is anticipated on October 18, 2016.
Under the proposed settlement, eligible customers will have two choices: (1) they can sell back their vehicle to Volkswagen or terminate their lease without an early termination penalty, or, (2) keep their vehicle and receive a free emissions modification, if approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Customers who select any of these options under the settlement will also receive a cash payment from Volkswagen. More information about the program can be found at www.VWCourtSettlement.com.
Volkswagen appreciates the constructive engagement of all the parties, under the direction of Judge Breyer and with the active participation of Special Master Robert S. Mueller III, as the settlement approval process moves forward. The parties believe that the proposed settlement program will provide a fair, reasonable and adequate resolution for affected Volkswagen and Audi customers.
Notes to Editors
The following 2.0L TDI engine vehicles are included in the proposed 2.0L TDI settlement program:
VW Beetle VW Golf VW Jetta VW Passat Audi A3
2013- 2015 2010-2015 2009-2015 2012-2015 2010-2013; 2015Volkswagen continues to work closely with the EPA and CARB on an approved emissions modification for each of the 2.0L TDI engine vehicles listed above. Volkswagen is also trying to secure approval of a technical resolution for affected vehicles with a V6 3.0L TDI engine as quickly as possible.
In addition to the proposed class settlement, Volkswagen has entered into a separate Consent Decree with the United States Department of Justice (acting on behalf of the EPA), CARB and the California Attorney General and a separate Partial Stipulated Order for Permanent Injunction and Monetary Judgment with the United States Federal Trade Commission regarding 2.0L TDI vehicles. Volkswagen has also resolved current and potential consumer protection claims of 44 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
The agreements are not an admission of liability by Volkswagen. By their terms, they are not intended to apply to or affect Volkswagen's obligations under the laws or regulations of any jurisdiction outside the United States. The company continues to work to resolve other outstanding legal matters in the United States.
STATEMENT ON PRELIMINARY APPROVAL OF VOLKSWAGEN AND AUDI 2.0-LITER EMISSIONS SETTLEMENT
San Francisco, CA (July 26, 2016) —Elizabeth Cabraser, lead counsel for the consumer plaintiffs in the Volkswagen "Clean Diesel" Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation, released the following statement regarding the Court granting preliminary approval of the Volkswagen and Audi 2.0-Liter Emissions Settlement. A final approval hearing will be held on October 18, 2016.
"We are pleased the Court has granted preliminary approval, which brings us a step closer toward achieving the settlements' goals: fairly compensating consumers, undoing the cars' environmental damage through remediation, and fixing or getting these polluting cars off the road. We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from affected owners and lessees in response to this historic agreement, and believe this support will only grow as consumers learn more about the benefits of the settlement. We look forward to finalizing this agreement so consumers can soon take advantage of its benefits."
Under the class action settlement agreement, Volkswagen will create a funding pool of up to $10.033 billion dollars. The settlement will provide consumers the choice of:
· A Buyback or lease termination on approximately 475,000 2.0-liter diesel vehicles.
· If approved by the EPA and California Air Resources Board (or CARB), an emissions modification to ensure the vehicle no longer generates excess nitrogen oxide emissions.
Whether they choose a Buyback or an approved emissions modification, the settlement also offers eligible owners and lessees with cash compensation. This is in addition to the vehicle's buyback value or approved modification.
Under settlements with EPA and CARB, which are incorporated in the class action settlement agreement, Volkswagen will pay an additional $2.7 billion for environmental remediation and commit another $2.0 billion to promote Zero Emissions Vehicle technology. Volkswagen will also be required to pay additional money into a mitigation trust if it fails to remove from commerce or modify at least 85 percent of covered 2.0 liter vehicles by June 30, 2019. Volkswagen also reached separate agreements with the Federal Trade Commission as well as a number of State Attorneys General.
Under the terms of the proposed class settlement, eligible owners who choose the Buyback program will receive a payment equal to the September 2015 National Automobile Dealers Association ("NADA") Clean Trade-In value of the car (before the emissions conduct became public), adjusted for their options and mileage. Certain owners will be eligible for forgiveness of their car loan obligations, and certain lessees will be able to terminate their lease with no penalty. Volkswagen may begin buying back eligible vehicles as early as the fall of 2016, just over one year after the diesel emissions issues were first revealed.
Alternatively, if owners or lessees prefer, they can wait and see whether an emissions modification is approved by EPA and CARB for their vehicles. If an EPA and CARB-approved emissions modification becomes available, Volkswagen will modify their non-compliant 2.0-liter vehicle free of charge. If a modification is not approved for a certain vehicle, the Buyback Program will still be available, or a class member can withdraw from the settlement. Volkswagen will be prohibited from re-selling in the U.S. or abroad any vehicle that does not receive an approved emissions modification.
Current and certain former owners and lessees will also receive cash payments in addition to the buyback value or approved modification. The amount is the same whether one participates in the buyback or modification program. The settlement agreement includes a formula for how this cash payment is determined. For example, most owners who purchased a 2.0-liter vehicle before September 18, 2015 will be eligible for a payment ranging from $5,100 to approximately $10,000 per vehicle. This cash is to be paid on top of the September 2015 Clean Trade-in value for those participating in the Buyback Program.
Class members can visit www.VWCourtSettlement.com to learn if they have an eligible vehicle. If the Court grants preliminary approval, this site will soon include a secure settlement look-up tool where consumers can enter their vehicle's VIN to learn their compensation amount. When and if the Court grants final approval, the claims process will open to eligible Volkswagen and Audi 2.0 liter owners and lessees. Volkswagen and Audi 3.0-liter vehicles are not covered in this settlement, as those discussions are currently on a separate track. The next status conference in that case will be held on August 25, 2016. Additional information can also be found on the Court's website: http://www.cand.uscourts.gov/crb/vwmdl.