A federal judge signed off on one of the largest consumer settlements in US history, which includes a massive vehicle buyback programme and environmental remediation efforts.
US District Court Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco approved the sweeping agreement between consumers, the government, California regulators and the German automaker. He said the agreement was”fair, reasonable and adequate”.
Last year Volkswagen admitted that it rigged 11 million vehicles worldwide with software designed to dodge emissions standards.
The company is still facing criminal investigations by the US Justice Department and German prosecutors which could cost it even more. More than 475,000 VW owners in the US can choose between a buyback or a free fix and compensation, if a repair becomes available.
Buybacks range in value from $12,475 to $44,176, including restitution payments, and vary based on mileage. People who opt for a fix approved by the Environmental Protection Agency will receive payouts ranging from $5,100 to $9,852, depending on the book value of their car.
Volkswagen will also pay $2.7 billion for environmental mitigation and another $2 billion for clean-emissions infrastructure.
Deal backers include a class action group of consumers, the EPA, the California Air Resources Board and the FTC which growled at VW over the company’s “false” advertisements marketing its smog-spewing diesels as “clean diesel.”
Meanwhile, VW is negotiating a separate settlement with more than 80,000 owners of diesel vehicles fitted with similar software.