The German automaker has agreed to pony up $10 billion to cover government fines and settle claims with the owners of VW vehicles that were fitted with software that cheated emissions standards, according to MarketWatch. The VW deal will likely be filed in federal court on Tuesday.
Nearly 500,000 diesel-powered Volkswagen vehicles with 2-liter engines were outfitted with the cheating software. The Germany-based automaker has agreed to fix or buy back the affected cars, but it’s also doling out cash payments of $1,000 to $7,000 to customers ($5,100 is the average), depending on their vehicle’s age and other factors, Bloomberg reports.
Volkswagen also says it will implement an environmental remediation program that is designed to help undo some of the damage caused by putting 482,000 VW diesel cars on the road, emitting as much as 40 times the permitted amounts of smog-forming nitrogen oxides, Bloomberg explains.
Volkswagen admitted that for the last seven years, it rigged its vehicles to pass emissions tests by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board.
“This settlement will provide substantial benefits to both consumers and the environment — providing car owners and lessees fair value for their vehicles, while also removing environmentally harmful vehicles from the road,” Elizabeth Cabraser, lead counsel for the plaintiffs’ steering committee, said in an email.
On behalf of the EPA, the U.S. Justice Department sued VW in January, accusing the automaker of violating federal clean-air laws by using software that allowed vehicles to pollute at higher levels on roadways than the levels registered when they were being tested.
The Justice Department is pursuing a separate criminal probe of Volkswagen over the emissions scandal.
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