US-based owners of Volkswagen vehicles affected by the manufacturer's infamous emissions scandal will now be able to sell their cars back to dealerships, after the company was granted final approval on its proposed $14.7 billion compensation deal. US district judge Charles Breyer approved the plan, which was first hammered out in June this year, and sets aside just over $10 billion for customers who want to trade their vehicles in for pre-scandal prices or who are waiting for repairs.
US owners will get pre-scandal prices at trade-in
In addition to buyback fees, owners of the 475,000 cars implicated in the scandal — including Beetles, Passats, and Audi A3s released since 2009 — will also get between $5,100 and $10,000 as an apology. People can also choose to hang on to their cars in anticipation that Volkswagen will fix the problems at its own expense, and have until September 2018 to make their minds up about what they want to do. If the company doesn't repair or fix at least 85 percent of affected cars by June 2019, it's on the hook for further penalties.
The settlement also includes $2.7 billion that Volkswagen must contribute to an environmental trust, and another $2 billion that it's required to invest into zero-emission vehicles, symbolic counters to the damage caused by vehicles it had rigged to cheat emissions tests. Judge Breyer had pushed for a quick resolution to the case, the Wall Street Journal reports, in an attempt to clear up a problem that was first reported more than a year ago, but Volkswagen customers who decide to wait for a fix may still have several months — or even years — where they're not allowed to drive their cars on US roads.