Volkswagen Will Pay More than $15 Billion in Largest Auto Settlement in U.S History
For years, German auto manufacturer Volkswagen knowingly misled its customers about the fuel efficiency of its TDI “clean diesel” vehicles. On Tuesday, 6/28 it was announced that VW will pay more than $15 billion to the U.S Justice Department in what is being called the largest auto-related settlement in U.S. history. A majority of this $15 billion settlement will be put towards refunding or repairing TDI “clean diesel” vehicles that were purchased or leased by VW’s customers.
VW marketed its TDI “clean diesel” cars as fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly alternatives to other vehicles on the market. In September of 2015, it was revealed that these cars were designed to fool Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emissions testing, and actually emitted up to 40 times the amount of legally allowable air pollution.
U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates released a statement on Tuesday following the agreement, saying that “by duping regulators, Volkswagen turned nearly half a million American drivers into unwitting accomplices in an unprecedented assault on our environment.”
More than 11 million cars worldwide were impacted by the VW emissions scandal, one of the largest in automotive history. Affected vehicle models include:
- Volkswagen Jetta TDI – model year 2009-2015
- Volkswagen Golf TDI – model year 2010-2015
- Volkswagen Beetle TDI – model year 2013-2015
- Volkswagen Passat TDI – model year 2012-2015
- Audi A3 TDI – model year 2009-2015
- And many others
By marketing their TDI vehicles as energy-efficient and environmentally friendly, Volkswagen knowingly deceived their own customers. When corporations such as Volkswagen falsely represent their products or fail to warn about potential health risks, they put profits over the wellbeing of consumers.
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