A stunning amount is being paid out over the alleged fuel economy overstatement.
Volkswagen Group Of America announced Friday that it has reached a settlement with plaintiffs over the lawsuit that alleges VW knowingly overstated fuel economy in some of its vehicles. The settlement is worth a total of $96.5 million, but Volkswagen is not admitting responsibility. According to the company: "The settlement removes the uncertainty of protracted litigation and does not include any admission of liability or wrongdoing by Volkswagen."
The vehicles in question are various gasoline-powered 2013-2017 Volkswagen Group models in the United States, so if you've owned or leased any of the vehicles then you could be in for a payday. According to Reuters, vehicles involved include Audi A8, VW Touareg, Bentley Continental GT, and Porsche Cayenne models.
Despite the settlement not being an admission of guilt, Volkswagen is adjusting fuel economy figures by one mile per gallon to reflect US labeling requirements on 98,000 of its vehicles sold between 2013 and 2017.
The figures being paid out are subject to court approval but, as it stands, those affected will be reimbursed for extra money spent on gas based on the alleged false fuel economy ratings. Length of legal ownership will be factored into individual payouts, but it works out from $5.40 to $24.30 per owner for each month they leased or owned their vehicle but with a maximum of $518.40 to $2,332.80. Owners will be able to submit a claim once the process to do so is ready.
The investigation into gasoline vehicles followed VW's 2015 Dieselgate scandal when it was reported that transmission software caused the models to shift differently during government testing to post better fuel economy than in the real world. The EPA found that the software was present on 1 million gasoline vehicles, but only 98,000 cars were discovered with lower fuel economy.
David Stellings, a lawyer who represented the plaintiffs, said in a statement that: "We are very pleased to reach a settlement that provides owners and lessees full compensation for having driven vehicles that did not obtain the represented fuel economy. This is a great resolution for the class."