Seeking to avoid a major trial in the US, Volkswagen has set up a massive fund to pay up for Dieselgate-related damages in the US. The US Department of Justice has called for a plan to be finalized by the end of July.
With the fund, VW would pay from $1,000 to $7,000 (880 to 6164 euro) in cash to owners of vehicles affected by the company’s use of emissions test cheating software, sources close to the court case between the German carmaker and the US Department of Justice said on Thursday.
The sum would depend on the vehicle’s age, with the average payout amounting to $5,000. Over 480,000 car owners were affected within the US.
The fund would also contribute to action against air pollution, according to Bloomberg news agency, as well as to pay penalties to the US government, a source told news agency AP.
The carmaker has been bombarded with legal complaints in the aftermath of the Dieselgate scandal in the US, where environmental regulators revealed last September that “defeat devices” were installed in VW diesel vehicles to cheat emissions tests.
The US Department of Justice later opened a case against VW, demanding a plan for the carmaker to atone for its damages to US consumers and the environment, or else face a trial. A preliminary deal was struck in April, and the carmaker is due at a hearing over a final settlement agreement on July 26.
US District Judge Charles Breyer, who is supervising the case, has imposed a gag order in the case. Volkswagen has set aside $18.4 billion to cover the cost of the scandal.
jtm/uhe (AFP, AP)