With news reports speculating about the final terms of a settlement deal in the Volkswagen clean diesel litigation in the US, Elizabeth Cabraser, Court-appointed Lead Counsel for the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee, released a statement regarding the settlement negotiations.
This settlement will provide substantial benefits to both consumers and the environment—providing car owners and lessees fair value for their vehicles, while also removing environmentally-harmful vehicles from the road. We are pleased with the steady progress made thus far towards finalizing the agreement-in-principle, and plan to file formal settlement papers per the schedule set by the Court. Per the Court’s confidentiality order, we will have no further comment on this process until formal settlement papers are filed.—Elizabeth Cabraser
Per the terms of the agreement, programs will be put in place to:
Remove non-compliant 2.0 liter TDI vehicles from the road, with Volkswagen offering to buy back each vehicle, or, at the consumer’s option, to modify these vehicles to make them EPA and CARB-compliant.
Provide substantial monetary compensation, above and beyond the buyback/repair program, to class members in exchange for the release of their legal claims against Volkswagen (which will not be reduced by attorneys’ fees or costs).
Require monetary payment by Volkswagen to offset the environmental damage caused by the vehicles’ emissions.
As settlement discussions are ongoing, the Court’s confidentiality orders remain in place until the formal settlement papers are filed. The details of the final agreement are expected to be reported to the Court on 28 June 28, at which point they will become publicly available.
A hearing on a motion for preliminary approval of the settlement is scheduled for 26 July 2016. If the Court grants preliminary approval, class members will then receive formal notice by mail about their rights and options under the agreement. At this point, Volkswagen owners and lessees do not need to take any action. The parties remain in discussions regarding an appropriate resolution for affected 3.0 liter TDI models.
The litigation is pending before Judge Charles M. Breyer in the Northern District of California.