- Volkswagen has paid out more than $9.5 billion to customers in the aftermath of the “Dieselgate” scandal, according to a court summary published by the US Federal Trade Commission.
- In 2016, the FTC charged Volkswagen with intentionally deceiving consumers by rigging its diesel cars to beat emissions tests.
- Volkswagen was required to compensate buyers and lessees of affected cars to the tune of $10.3 billion.
- More than 86% of customers who completed the claims process decided to return their car rather than have it modified to meet emissions regulations.
The Volkswagen Group has paid out more than $9.5 billion to consumers who were affected by the manufacturer’s misleading “clean diesel” ad campaign, according to a final court summary published by the US Federal Trade Commission on Monday.
The payments stem from a 2016 lawsuit that the FTC brought against Volkswagen, which claimed the manufacturer misled consumers by labeling some diesel models as “clean” when, in fact, Volkswagen had outfitted the vehicles with devices aimed at beating emissions tests. The original FTC complaint related to the scandal — commonly known as “Dieselgate” — alleged that the cars emitted up to 40 times the legal limit of nitrogen oxides.
In 2016, courts ordered Volkswagen to set aside more than $10 billion to compensate people who bought or leased one of the more than 550,000 deceptively marketed vehicles. Those who bought a diesel-engined Volkswagen Jetta, Passat, Golf, Beetle, or Audi A3 from the 2009 to 2015 model years were eligible for buyback payments of $12,500 to $44,000.
Alternatively, owners could keep their cars and have them modified to meet emissions standards. However, according to Monday’s court summary from the FTC, the overwhelming majority of consumers affected decided against keeping their vehicles. More than 86% of customers who finished the claims process decided to take the money rather than keep their car.
The buyback and lease-termination program was “the largest consumer redress program in US history,” according to the FTC. In addition to the nearly $10 billion Volkswagen spent compensating consumers, it also agreed to invest $4.7 billion in green-vehicle technology and pollution-mitigation efforts.
Volkswagen did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.