The final number will likely be much higher.
Dieselgate is the story that will never die, partially because Volkswagen and the US government won't let it. The two have been negotiating VW's punishment and today the terms were leaked. The total financial penalty will top $10 billion and include cash payments to affected owners of at least $5,100, although some could receive up to $10,000 (no word on how or why). That money is on top of a buyback or fix for the over-polluting Volkswagen and Audis vehicles with a 2.0-liter diesel engine, a total of some 500,000 cars.
There's no word on how long the fix will take or what it will consist of, or if Volkswagen will be able to sell the cars it buys back. The prices for the buyback itself will be pegged to the vehicle's worth in September 2015, right before the scandal broke. The punishment for the 85,000 some odd cars equipped with over-polluting 3.0-liter diesel engine, which includes Porsches and Audis, is still being worked out. In addition to paying out money to Volkswagen and Audi owners the automaker will also pay $4 billion for environmental remediation and to promote zero-emissions vehicles. The final date for a deal to be done is June 28th, which means there are five days for the terms to change.
We'll be sure to share the details of the final deal once they become known. For what it's worth we're pretty sick of covering this saga but are glad it's coming to an end. What will be much more interesting is seeing where Volkswagen goes from here, especially in America. Its reputation is tarnished and its once-prized diesel engines are now being tossed in favor of electric power. The VW Group still has some strong brands in its portfolio, such as the aforementioned Audi and Porsche, but how those marques and the models they make fare in the wake of this scandal remains to be seen.