New York is set to accept a partial settlement in the Volkswagen emissions case pending in a U.S. Federal District Court. Currently, 44 states have signed off on a settlement whereby VW would pay $14.7 billion to settle claims that it deceives states and customers by fraudulently misrepresenting its vehicles’ emission numbers, in clear violation of state environmental laws and regulations.
Last September, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued VW a notice of violation of the Clean Air Act after it was found that Volkswagen had intentionally programmed turbocharged direct injection (TDI) diesel engines to activate certain emissions controls only during laboratory emissions testing. That caused the vehicles’ emissions to meet US standards during regulatory testing but emit up to 40 times higher emissions on the road for 500,000 cars on the road in the U.S. from 2009 to 2015. The scandal extends across the world to 11 million vehicles in the same time period.
This emissions scandal had been the subject of over 30 class-action lawsuits in the United States and Canada on behalf of VW car owners claiming breach of contract, fraud, false advertising and statutory violations. Litigants claim that the “diminished value” of cars that fail to conform to federal and state law have damaged them. All the matters were then consolidated into one action
As part of the settlement, 21,500 VW owners in New York would be able to send their cars back to Volkswagen plus receive at least $5,100 cash back, and VW will provide New York with $145 million in funds for environmental programs and additional recoveries.