Court Grants Final Approval to 2.0-Liter Settlement
Keller Rohrback is pleased to report that this morning, Judge Charles Breyer granted final approval to the 2.0L class action TDI settlement.
In the settlement approved today, October 25, 2016, in the Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation, owners and lessees of Volkswagen and Audi 2.0-liter diesel vehicles will receive substantial compensation through buybacks and lease terminations, government-approved emissions modifications, and cash payments, while fixing or removing these polluting vehicles from the road. Class members can now visit www.VWCourtSettlement.com to learn if they have an eligible vehicle and begin the claims process to register for and schedule their Buyback, Lease Termination, or if approved, their Emissions Modification.
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 cash compensation. This is in addition to the vehicle’s buyback value or approved modification.
Under agreements 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 class action settlement, eligible owners who choose the Buyback program will receive a payment based on the September 2015 National Automobile Dealers Association (“NADA”) Clean Trade-In value of the car (before the “defeat device” was revealed), 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 for early termination. 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 and when 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 for current owners and lessees is the same whether one participates in the buyback, lease termination, or modification program. Certain former owners and lessees will receive cash payments even though they no longer have a vehicle to sell back or fix. 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. Now that the Court has granted 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 claims continue to be litigated. Additional information can also be found on the Court’s website: http://www.cand.uscourts.gov/crb/vwmdl.