One more step on the long march to making things right, but there's still a long ways to go.
Today marks the beginning of a long road ahead for Volkswagen. U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer of California has granted preliminary approval for the 2.0-liter TDI settlement reached on June 28th. Though this isn’t a final approval of the lawsuit put forth by owners, which could come October 18th, it’s the first of many steps toward a fix.
Over 475,000 2.0-liter diesel owners in the U.S. will now receive notification of their options by Volkswagen. They can either sell their vehicle back to Volkswagen or terminate their lease without a penalty, or they can accept a free emissions fix that's yet to be approved by the Environmental Protection Agency. Regardless of which option they choose, owners of cars affected by the suit will also receive an extra $5,100 to $10,000 in cash.
The vehicles included in the proposed fix range by model, year, and even make with the inclusion of Audi. The 2013-2015 Beetle, 2010-2015 Golf, 2009-2015 Jetta, 2012-2015 Passat, and 2010-2013 and 2015 Audi A3 are all affected.
Of course, the aforementioned compensation will only come with approval from the Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board, otherwise Volkswagen could be forced to buy back all of its affected vehicles, ranging from $12,500 to $44,000 in value. Estimates expect Volkswagen will pay a total of around $14.7 billion in the end, including $2.7 billion for environmental mitigation.
Compensation for the other diesel engine involved in the emissions scandal, a V6 3.0-liter TDI, has yet to be approved, but Volkswagen assures us it is working “as quickly as possible” to ensure those owners are compensated as well.