Detroit - Volkswagen’s $15.3bn agreement to get a half million emissions-cheating diesel vehicles off US roads sets an auto-industry record that will only go higher as criminal probes and lawsuits on three continents roll ahead.
The German carmaker agreed to devote as much as $10bn to buy back affected models and compensate drivers. It will also pay $2.7bn to federal and California regulators to fund pollution-reduction projects, and give $2bn to be invested in clean technology. Volkswagen also announced a $603m settlement to resolve consumer and environmental claims with 44 US states.
The settlements mark a swift but partial resolution for VW in the US, after the carmaker admitted last September to systematically rigging environmental tests since 2009 to hide that its diesel vehicles were emitting far more pollutants than allowed under US and California law. VW’s widely traded preferred shares closed more than 1.6% higher at €107.75 in Frankfurt after rising as much as 5% on Tuesday.