Volkswagen Settles With 10 States For $157 Million
It seems like Volkswagen keeps getting fined, but it’s not all bad news.
Volkswagen said today that it had settled claims related to Dieselgate with ten U.S. states for $157 million. Volkswagen AG and Volkswagen North America made the announcement today that they have resolved environmental and consumer claims that were not part of the original multi-state agreement. This settlement follows the VAG's posting of record profits for 2016 and today's news that the EPA has permitted them to sell 2015 diesel vehicles that have been fixed. Earlier this month, Volkswagen agreed to plea guilty to three felony charges including obstruction of justice and conspiracy to commit fraud. In total, Volkswagen has agreed to spend up to $25 billion to settle claims.
Today's settlement will split $157.45 million between the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. This agreement actually saves Volkswagen money. For example, after initially receiving $129 million, Washington levied an additional fine against the auto maker of $176 million. Other states were considering similar actions. In their announcement, Volkswagen said "The agreement avoids further prolonged and costly litigation as Volkswagen continues to work to earn back the trust of its customers, regulators and the public."
While the buy-backs are still underway and the possibility of more fines lurking around, Volkswagen faces financial difficulty in 2017. With the ability to start selling some repaired diesel cars, the strength of the other brands under the VAG umbrella, and a push towards electric vehicles, Volkswagen is positioning itself for a successful future. If consumer trust has been regained, we'll have to wait and see.