Judge approves $1.2B Volkswagen settlement

Judge approves $1.2B Volkswagen settlement

A federal judge has approved a settlement between Volkswagen and its customers that will see the automaker pay at least $1.22 billion to repair or buy back 3.0-liter diesel vehicles as part of the company’s emissions-cheating scandal. 

U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer approved the settlement at a hearing in San Francisco on Thursday, Reuters reports. Breyer also approved a settlement involving Robert Bosch GmbH in which the German firm will pay $327.5 million to American VW owners for its role in developing the engines at the center of the emissions cheating. 

Under the terms of the settlement, VW will be required to modify or buy back up to 80,000 3.0-liter vehicles sold in the U.S. that were equipped with “defeat device” software that turned off required emissions controls within the vehicles.

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The scandal, uncovered by federal and state regulators in 2015, also involves 475,000 2.0-liter vehicles, with the equipped software allowing the vehicles to emit pollution up to 40 times the legal limit. 

VW has already agreed to pay up to $14.7 billion for the 2.0-liter vehicles, a settlement that Breyer approved last year. 

Breyer called Thursday’s settlement "fair, reasonable and adequate,” and the firm representing consumer plaintiffs opposing VW said it was “very pleased” with the decision. 

VW pled guilty earlier this year to federal charges against stemming from the emissions cheating. In April, the company was ordered to pay $2.8 billion in fines to the federal government, and a federal judge sentenced the company to three years probation.  

VW has so far agreed to pay up to $25 billion to settle claims related to the emissions scandal.