FRANKFORT, KY. – Attorney General Andy Beshear announced Tuesday that his office agreed to settle a lawsuit brought against Volkswagen, potentially resulting in $100 million for impacted Kentuckians and the Commonwealth.
In March, Beshear filed a lawsuit claiming Volkswagen, and its connected brands Audi and Porsche, willfully violated Kentucky’s Consumer Protection Act.
Beshear’s suit alleged the automaker deliberately mislead Kentucky consumers by installing rigged software on their Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDI®) diesel-engine automobiles in order to cheat emissions tests and claimed the cars had “clean diesel” technology.
The suit sought restitution for car owners, civil penalties and environmental damages. Volkswagen settled by agreeing to compensate Kentucky TDI owners and the Commonwealth.
Restitution for consumers
Under the terms of the consumer restitution package, nearly 3,200 TDI owners in Kentucky will receive payments of at least $5,100, and a choice between a buyback of the vehicle, based on the pre-scandal value, or a modification to reduce emissions. Regulators must approve the modification, which Volkswagen is currently working to develop.
Payment for environmental damage
Attorney General Beshear has ensured the Commonwealth is eligible for more than $19 million in environmental damages from an Environmental Mitigation Trust funded by Volkswagen.
Civil penalties for the Commonwealth
Volkswagen has agreed to pay the Commonwealth nearly $3.5 million in civil penalties for violating the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act.
“It is my duty to stand up for Kentuckians and hold those who deceive them accountable for their actions,” Beshear said. “I am proud of the quick action taken by my office to ensure that Kentucky owners and the Commonwealth will be fully compensated for Volkswagen’s actions.”
Final approval of the settlement is expected in October.
The automaker has admitted to manipulating environmental tests since 2009 to hide that its diesel vehicles were releasing far more pollutants than the law permitted.
Full details of the consumer restitution program will be available online at https://www.vwcourtsettlement.com. The program is available to nearly 580,000 customers who bought or leased vehicles in the United States.