The settlement plan involving Volkswagen and Audi 2.0L TDI vehicles in the United States cleared another hurdle on Wednesday when Judge Charles Breyer of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted preliminary approval of the agreement reached on June 28 with private plaintiffs represented by the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC) to resolve civil claims associated with “Dieselgate.”
The automaker indicated 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 Oct. 18.
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.
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.
“Volkswagen appreciates the constructive engagement of all the parties, under the direction of Judge Breyer and with the active participation of special master Robert Mueller III, as the settlement approval process moves forward,” the OEM said.
“The parties believe that the proposed settlement program will provide a fair, reasonable and adequate resolution for affected Volkswagen and Audi customers,” the company added.
The vehicles associated with this settlement include:
2013- 2015 VW Beetle
2010-2015 VW Golf
2009-2015 VW Jetta
2012-2015 VW Passat
2010-2013; 2015 Audi A3
Breyer articulated a similar stance when issuing the court’s decision this week.
“Just a little over 10 months ago, the public learned of Volkswagen’s allegedly deliberate use of a defeat device — software installed in certain Volkswagen- and Audi-branded turbocharged direct injection (TDI) diesel vehicles that was designed to cheat emissions tests and deceive state and federal regulators — in nearly 500,000 cars sold in the United States,” Breyer wrote. “Consumers filed hundreds of lawsuits which have been assigned to this court as a multidistrict litigation (MDL).
“After five months of intensive negotiations, and with the assistance of a court-appointed settlement master, plaintiffs and defendants Volkswagen AG, Audi AG and Volkswagen Group of America Inc. (collectively Volkswagen) reached a settlement that resolves consumer claims concerning certain 2.0-liter diesel TDI vehicles,” the judge continued.
“The settlement is sufficiently fair, adequate and reasonable to the 2.0-liter diesel engine vehicle consumers to move forward with class notice,” Breyer went on to note.
Breyer added that the court set a deadline of Oct. 4 for class members to file a notice of intent to appear at the final fairness hearing.
More information about the program can be found at www.VWCourtSettlement.com.