What You Need to Know About the VW Settlement Process If Your Vehicle Is Involved in the Scandal
Volkswagen has hired Kenneth Feinberg to handle the claims for compensation resulting from its diesel emission scandal. Mr. Feinberg is a victim compensation expert who has resolved other high-profile cases, including the BP oil spill and General Motor’s ignition switch recall. Volkswagen has admitted to installing software on almost half a million four-cylinder diesel engine vehicles to defeat pollution controls when vehicles are driven on the road. They have also been accused of cheating on larger six-cylinder diesels.
How the Settlement Process Could Work
Feinberg will be designing and administering a claims process for approximately 500,000 owners of Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche vehicles. He believes it will be 60 to 90 days before a procedure is implemented, and he plans to involve Volkswagen officials, consumers, lawyers representing consumers, and regulators in the process. Although details will need to be ironed out, he anticipates it working as follows:
- Compensation could be limited to car owners.
- Owners could be required to get recall repairs completed.
- Owners could have to give up their right to sue in order to receive compensation from the fund.
- Owners may receive some compensation for the loss of gas mileage or acceleration once the repairs have been completed.
- Buybacks of vehicles and cash payments could be offered.
U.S. Department of Justice Also Sues Volkswagen
In addition, the U.S. Department of Justice recently filed a lawsuit against Volkswagen, claiming the automaker violated federal law by installing the illegal software on its vehicles. The government is asking that Volkswagen pay between $32,500 and $37,500 per affected vehicle for a total fine exceeding $18 billion.
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