Volkswagen has agreed to pay more than $20 billion to settle civil and criminal suits in the United States over its diesel emissions scandal, affecting almost 600,000 cars. This is what that could mean for vehicle owners:
Who can take part?
Owners of more than 580,000 Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche diesel cars from the 2009-16 model years.
2009-15 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
2009-14 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI
2012-15 Volkswagen Beetle TDI
2012-15 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible TDI
2010-15 Audi A3 TDI
2010-15 Volkswagen Golf TDI
2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI
2012-15 Volkswagen Passat TDI
2009-16 Volkswagen Touareg
2009-15 Audi Q7
2014-16 Audi A6
2014-16 Audi A7
2014-16 Audi A8
2014-16 Audi Q5
2013-16 Porsche Cayenne Diesel
What are the options?
Owners of two-liter vehicles and 2009-12 three-liter models can either sell them back to Volkswagen for a price reflecting their value before September 2015, when the diesel cheating became known, or have their cars repaired free. Customers can search for their vehicle identification numbers here. Volkswagen is still trying to fix newer three-liter vehicles to avoid having to buy them back.
The fix, though, may reduce the engines’ performance and gas mileage.
What about additional compensation?
Volkswagen will separately offer affected owners of two-liter cars cash compensation of $5,100 to $10,000, depending on the model and year of the vehicle. They will also receive an additional $350 from Bosch, which supplied the engine software. Owners of three-liter cars will be entitled to compensation of $7,000 to $16,000, and $1,500 from Bosch.
What if I’ve already sold my Volkswagen?
People who sold their cars after Sept. 18, 2015, when the cheating was publicly disclosed, will be offered half of the cash compensation offered to current owners.
What if I lease my Volkswagen?
You can cancel your lease without penalty and receive half the compensation that an owner would.
Is participation in the settlement mandatory?
No, car owners may choose not to participate and instead sue Volkswagen for better terms. Those owners, however, would also risk getting a lesser settlement, or none at all, if their lawsuits are unsuccessful.
When will all this happen?
Volkswagen is recalling or buying back the two-liter cars. All repairs and payments are to be made no later than December 2018.
The settlement for three-liter cars, and Bosch’s share of the compensation, still is subject to review by a federal judge and a public comment period, which will take at least until May.