As expected, Judge Charles Breyer has approved the $14.7-billion settlement between VW and the world. Because of years of cheating on emissions test for many of its diesel vehicles, VW was forced to stop sales of its TDI vehicles in the US last year. Today's approval means that VW will start the process of either buying back or "fixing" about 475,000 affected 2.0-liter diesels in the US. If you have one of the affected diesels, you can start the settlement process here or by calling 1-844-98-CLAIM. The affected vehicles are: Owners who choose the vehicle buyback option will, "receive a payment based on 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 early termination penalty and receive a lessee payment."

For now, there is still no fix in place to make these vehicles any cleaner. VW says that, "affected owners and lessees will be able to choose whether to accept a buyback or lease termination, or receive an approved emissions modification for their vehicle (if and when it becomes available)." But, of course, we've heard that there might not ever be a fix. VW has already said that it may never sell diesels in the US ever again. The deadline for an owner to decide if they want the money or the fix is September 2018, and even though many have already agreed to settle, we've got two more years until we really know how things settle down. And that doesn't even get to the 3.0-liter vehicles, which are not covered by this agreement. The next status conference for those vehicles is set for November 3, 2016.

No matter which option owners choose, they will also get a cash payment. How much is determined by a formula that will calculate out to between, $5,100 and $10,000 for each owner.

Another part of the settlement includes VW paying $2.7 billion for an environmental trust that will be managed by a trustee and $2 billion over 10 years in zero emissions vehicle infrastructure. Nissan had some suggestions about that here. For more details on the settlement, read our VW diesel settlement FAQ or this in-depth Q&A with the lead counsel of the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee.

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