Over 500,000 cars in the US across Porsche's lineup are affected by the class-action suit.
Settlement filings from the US District Court in San Francisco, California show that Porsche has agreed to a class-action settlement to the tune of $80 million. That is just here in America. Should this go global, Porsche will have to pay even more, as it has in past emissions scandals. Porsche has previously been forced to pay up after Dieselgate, in which its 31.4% stake in VW implicated the automaker.
Filings state that Porsche fudged the numbers on fuel economy data across 500,000 vehicles. The number of models listed in the settlement is staggering, covering the brand's entire gas-powered US lineup, including the Porsche 911.
Beneficiaries of the suit include current and former Porsche owners. If you've leased a P Car recently, you may also be entitled to compensation. Affected models range from 2005 to 2020 model year vehicles. Porsche issued a statement on the lawsuit, saying that its agreement to settle is not an admission of guilt.
The suit claims that Porsche manipulated test results of vehicles in its Sport+ drive mode, making the affected models appear that they had passed an emissions test. Instead, they were allegedly emitting more pollutants than was legal. Additionally, the vehicles returned worse fuel economy in Sport+ than Porsche said.
To do so, the suit alleges that Porsche made changes to its cars' software and hardware ahead of emissions tests, much like Volkswagen did during the massive Dieselgate scandal discussed above. Under the terms stipulated by the filed settlement agreement, those affected can collect cash payments based on their vehicle's specs and trim level.
Payments up to $1,109.66 will be issued once the suit is settled and approved by a judge. However, that amount is not a guarantee for all plaintiffs involved. Payment will be calculated based on the difference in claimed and real-world fuel economy. A 15% "goodwill payment" and a gasoline rate of $3.97/gallon will also be factored into total payments.
If the above is in fact the case for a plaintiff, that is how their payment amount will be decided, as it necessitates a change to the car's Monroney label. However, if an affected car does not fit those qualifications, Porsche will issue a flat $200 payment.
Essentially, what that means is that the worse fuel economy a specific car may get, the higher the payment will be. For example, a Porsche 911 Turbo or Porsche Cayenne Turbo owner will receive higher payment sums than the owner of a Panamera hybrid.
Should Porsche have any funds left of the roughly $80 million it will distribute in settlements, it does not get to keep the money. Instead, Porsche may donate the remaining to any environmental relief effort it sees fit, including greenhouse gas credits. With the brand's IPO on the horizon, it is likely that the brand will want to mend as many fences as publicly as possible, even if it means using the remaining $80 million for something Porsche may not want to use it for.