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VW Buyback Settlement Worth $15 Billion Nears Approval

Image: VW Buyback Settlement Worth $15 Billion Nears Approval

Close up of Volkswagen the owner has decorated in reply to the current crisis of the German carmaker due to faked consumption and emission reports. (Frank Gärtner/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Thursday, 20 Oct 2016 01:23 PM

A VW buyback settlement could be decided next week after a federal judge in San Francisco said Tuesday that he plans to rule on a U.S. settlement with Volkswagen Group on Oct. 25.

On the table is a nearly $15 billion U.S. settlement connected with the Volkswagen Group emissions scandal, where the German auto giant admitted to rigging 11 million of its diesel-fueled vehicles worldwide – 475,000 in the United States – with software that allowed it to cheat on emission tests, USA Today reported.

The proposed settlement would give owners of affected two-liter diesel cars a free fix to bring their cars into emission compliance and a payout of up to $9,852, or sell the cars back to Volkswagen, where each owner could receive up to $44,176 including restitution, USA Today said.

"The court is strongly inclined to approve the settlement, however I want to consider the objections further to determine whether the court should recommend any modifications," U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer said, according to USA Today. "There is an urgency as I've expressed to bring this matter to conclusion. Cars are on the road out of compliance of environmental regulations, and it is imperative that this matter be addressed immediately."

The owners lead counsel Elizabeth Cabraser said, according to Reuters, that the proposed settlement represented the best efforts of the government, Volkswagen, court and plaintiffs to reach a "fair, reasonable and adequate" deal but that it was hardly perfect.

"This settlement is something that I think is very good for consumers," Robert Giuffra, Volkswagen's attorney, said in defending the settlement, according to The Associated Press. "It's good for the environment, and it's a way for Volkswagen to regain the trust of its customers, the American people, regulators and do right by the environment."

Some owners, though, like Audi owner Mark Dietrich, told Breyer at the hearing that the company should pay for the full purchase price of their vehicles and part of their registration fees, the AP reported.

"We got played the fool," Dietrich said in court, according to the AP. "This settlement does not go far enough."

Breyer granted a preliminary approval Tuesday for a $1.21 billion settlement with VW's U.S. brand dealers, according to Reuters. The news agency stated that Volkswagen has hired 900 people to handle the buybacks and will have a person at each dealership to oversee the repurchases that could begin in November if the settlement is approved.

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A VW buyback settlement could be decided next week after a federal judge in San Francisco said Tuesday that he plans to rule on a U.S. settlement with Volkswagen Group on Oct. 25.
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2016-23-20
Thursday, 20 Oct 2016 01:23 PM
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