Volkswagen has been given approval for its $14.7 billion (over Rs 99,000 crore) settlement with owners of cars in the US affected by the emissions scandal.
The settlement money, which is the largest sum in US history, will be used to compensate some 4,75,000 drivers. Owners can choose between getting the software fix or selling their car back to VW. They will also get additional compensation payments of between $5100 to $10,000 (around Rs 1.70 lakh to Rs 6.80 lakh), regardless of which choice they make.
The final approval follows comments from US District Judge Charles Breyer last week that indicated he planned to approve the deal.
Volkswagen has claimed that compensation is not necessary in the UK and the rest of Europe, as the fix is less extensive and customers will therefore have their cars back soon after they have been recalled.
Settlement has been a large factor in the emissions scandal, and Volkswagen has had to negotiate the deal with various factions in the US. However, it's possible that customers can now eschew compensation and independently sue Volkswagen USA.
Nearly half a million diesel vehicles fall under the terms of the settlement, and $10bn (around Rs 68,000 crore) has been put aside by Volkswagen for the purpose of buy-backs, fixes and compensation.
A further $2bn (around Rs 13,600 crore) will be put into the development of zero-emissions vehicles such as hydrogen fuel cell cars and electric vehicles, while $2.7bn (around Rs 18,339 crore) will be put into environmental mitigation.
The results of the retesting scheme revealed that only Volkswagen Group products used the so-called ‘defeat devices’, the discovery of which sparked the emissions scandal.
Jimi Beckwith and Doug Revolta