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US judge grants preliminary approval to Volkswagen emissions settlement

ABR Staff Writer Published 27 July 2016

A senior US District Court judge for the Northern District of California has granted preliminary approval to a $15bn settlement over Volkswagen's emissions cheating scandal.

Judge Charles Breyer granted preliminary approval of the settlement agreement reached on 28 June with private plaintiffs represented by the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC) to resolve civil claims regarding eligible Volkswagen and Audi 2.0L TDI vehicles in the US.

With the preliminary approval being received, individual class members will receive notification of their rights and options under the agreement. As and when the court grants final approval of the class settlement, which is expected to come out in October this year, Volkswagen will start the settlement program.

Under the proposed settlement, eligible customers will given two options. Customers can sell their vehicles back to Volkswagen or end their lease without an early termination penalty or to keep their vehicles and receive free emissions modification.

The emissions modification proposed by the German automaker still needs approval from US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and The California Air Resources Board (CARB). Customers opting for any of the two options will also receive, cash payment, as part of the settlement.

A small list of Volkswagen 2.0L TDI engine vehicles included in the proposed settlement program include VW Beetle: 2013- 2015, VW Golf: 2010-2015, VW Jetta: 2009-2015, VW Passat: 2012-2015, Audi A3: 2010-2013 and 2015.

Volkswagen said that it entered into separate Consent Decree with US Department of Justice (acting on behalf of EPA), CARB and California Attorney General and separate Partial Stipulated Order for Permanent Injunction and Monetary Judgement with US Federal Trade Commission over 2.0L TDI vehicles.

Apart from these listed vehicles, Volkswagen also said that it is working with EPA and CARB to secure approval for technical resolution for affected vehicles with V6 3.0L TDI engine.