The bills keep piling up in Wolfsburg over the ongoing saga of the diesel emissions scandal. Now Volkswagen can add another $1.4 billion to the heap as it has agreed to fix or buy back more vehicles.
Approved on a preliminary basis, the settlement agreed upon calls for the German automaker to either fix or buy back some 78,000 Volkswagens, Audis, and Porsches equipped with 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 engines.
The vast majority – an estimated 58,000 2013-16 models – will be fixed, while the remaining 20,000 vehicles from the 2009-12 models will be eligible for buy-back. Affected under the new agreement are diesel-powered 2009-16 VW Touaregs, 2009-15 Audi Q7s, 2013-16 Porsche Cayennes, and 2014-16 Audi A6s, A7s, A8s, and Q5s.
All told, according to The Detroit News, the undertaking is expected to cost the automaker another $1.2 billion. On top of that, it will contribute another $225 million to an environmental mitigation trust.
Those figures, however, are based on the assumption that the owners of each of those vehicles affected will necessarily choose to take the deal. In reality, some may choose to keep their vehicles as they are, polluting more than originally claimed but delivering better performance and fuel economy than they might after the fix.
All of this comes in addition to the previous $14.7 billion settlement over the 475,000 vehicles equipped with 2.0-liter diesels, the $2.7 billion it already agreed to pay to the trust, and the $25 million it's contributing to the California Air Resources Board.
“We are pleased the Court has granted preliminary approval, which brings us another step closer to achieving the settlements’ goals: providing consumers fair value for their vehicles, while repairing or removing illegally polluting vehicles from the road,” said Elizabeth Cabraser, lead counsel in the class action lawsuit against VW. “We look forward to finalizing this agreement so these benefits can quickly begin reaching both consumers and the environment.”
The deal is still subject to a final ruling from US District Judge Charles Breyer, set to take place May 11 in San Francisco.