The settlement stems from emissions issues related to about 78,000 VW-made cars and SUVs with 3.0-liter V6 diesel engines that were sold in North America. VW will recall and repair about 58,000 vehicles made for the 2013-through-2016 model years. The company will also buy back, offer a trade-in credit, or terminate the leases for about 20,000 cars for the model years 2009 through 2012. The older impacted models are the Volkswagen Touareg and Audi Q7, while the newer ones are the Touareg and Q7 as well as Audi's A6, A7, A8, A8L, and Q5 models, and finally the Porsche Cayenne Diesel. Previous reports estimated the payout at closer to $1 billion.
The US settlement follows one reached last year between VW and US regulators in regards to VW's 2.0-liter diesel engines. That settlement was estimated to cost VW about $15 billion and impacted owners of about 500,000 vehicles. VW has had a stop-sale on its diesel vehicles in the US since late 2015 after it was discovered that VW installed software in its diesels that allowed those vehicles to cheat emissions-testing systems.
VW on Wednesday also reiterated that it would contribute $225 million towards environmental-remediation efforts in the US. Volkswagen of America CEO Hinrich J. Woebcken, in Wednesday's statement, said that "we will continue to work to earn back the trust of all our stakeholders and thank our customers and dealers for their continued patience as this process moves forward."