Volkswagen to pay $14.7 billion to settle emission tests dispute


Auto giant Volkswagen (VW) has agreed pay nearly $15 billion to settle claims that it misled millions of customers over emission tests and lied to regulators for years.

Around a couple of years after a California agency first exposed VW’s scheme to cheat on vehicle emission tests, the company signed a $14.7 billion settlement dead, and most of the money, $10 billion, is earmarked for buying back or modify problematic diesel-fuel cars.

As per available data, VW will have to buy back or modify as many as 500,000 diesel-fuel cars that it sold with false emission test claims after 2009. Roughly 87,000 of those cars are said to be in California alone. The buy-back program is expected to start sometime in the fall.

Announcing the deal, VW CEO Matthias Muller said, “We know that we still have a great deal of work to do to earn back the trust of the American people. We are focused on resolving the outstanding issues and building a better company that can shape the future of integrated, sustainable mobility for our customers.”

The irregularities in the company’s diesel-fuel emissions tests were first noticed by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) in 2014. An investigation found VW vehicles emitting pollutants at 40 times the level allowed by state and federal regulators. A subsequent investigation revealed that the company installed “defeat devices” to cheat on emission tests.

The long list of VW vehicles to be recalled includes recent diesel-fuel models of the Beetle, Golf, Jetta, Audi A3 (which uses a VW-manufactured engine), and Passat. Through the buy back program, customers could receive up to $44,000, depending on use, mileage, condition of the vehicle.