West Virginia reaches $2.6M settlement with Volkswagen over emissions scandal

West Virginia reaches $2.6M settlement with Volkswagen over emissions scandal
© Getty Images

Automaker Volkswagen and two of its affiliates have agreed to pay West Virginia $2.65 million for failing to adhere to U.S. smog standards.

The settlement comes after the car maker admitted in 2015 to using a device to cheat on smog tests. Volkswagen said that about 500,000 of its cars in the U.S. were outfitted with a "defeat device" that allowed the cars to pass national emissions tests. 

Under the settlement announced Tuesday, Volkswagen, Porsche and Audi agreed to never engage in deceptive practices in future dealings in West Virginia.

“This settlement marks a huge victory for West Virginia consumers,” the state's Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R) said. “Trust is a crucial element to the consumer-business relationship. This should send a strong message that our office will vigorously pursue anyone whose actions erode that relationship.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Morrisey's office said that West Virginia sued Volkswagen in October 2015 and decided not to participate in a multi-state settlement against the company. It instead opted to handle litigation in-house, a decision the office says will save the state money.

"[They were] all moves that saved the state more than a half million dollars in legal fees and likely helped it receive more than it would have as part of the broader settlement," the statement read. "In particular, having handled the litigation in house means no portion of the $2.65-million settlement will be diverted to reimburse outside law firms."

The announcement comes a week after Volkswagen reached a similar settlement with Maryland for $33.5 million.

“Volkswagen’s agreement with West Virginia fully resolves all claims asserted by the state related to the diesel matter and is another important step forward for our company and our shareholders," Volkswagen spokesperson Jeannine Ginivan said in a statement.

A federal judge last year approved a settlement between Volkswagen and its customers mandating 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. 

In October 2016, the company also reached a settlement with federal and California regulators where it agreed to spend up to $14.7 billion to remediate the damage caused by its excess emissions.

Updated: 4:50 p.m.