Volkswagen TDI 'clean diesel' television ad screencap
Volkswagen Group of America continues to work through a long list of civil and criminal lawsuits over its diesel emission cheating scandal.
Yesterday, the company said it had reached agreements with attorneys general in 10 states to resolve environmental claims against it.
The pact also covers some claims by consumers that were not included in the earlier, broader class-action settlement finalized in January.
Earlier this month, VW pleaded guilty to three criminal charges related to its use of illegal "defeat device" software in diesel cars to cheat on emissions tests.
That cheating, first announced by the EPA in September 2015, launched the Volkswagen diesel scandal that continues to reverberate globally.
In the U.S. alone, it has cost VW Group more than $20 billion, and hundreds of claims and investigations remain to be settled in European countries and elsewhere.
Consumer Reports tests 2015 Volkswagen Jetta TDI diesel in 'cheat mode,' October 2015 [video frame]
The latest settlement in North America has been reached between the company's U.S. arm and the attorneys general for Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.
VW Group of America will pay $157.5 million to be allocated among those 10 states, all of which have adopted California's stricter vehicle-emission standards under Section 177 of the Clean Air Act.
The settlement announced yesterday includes charges related to not only 450,000 TDI 4-cylinder 2.0-liter diesel cars, but also an additional 85,000 vehicles from Audi, Porsche, and Volkswagen fitted with VW Group's 3.0-liter V-6 diesel engines.
An earlier settlement last July with 44 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico did not cover the V-6 engines.
2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI SE
Volkswagen is hardly out of the woods in the U.S., however. Its executive Oliver Schmidt remains in jail, more than two months after he was arrested in Miami by the FBI at the end of a vacation.
A Michigan judge denied bail on the grounds that Schmidt posed a risk of flight since he would have no reason to visit the U.S. after returning home to Germany.
Schmidt pleaded not guilty to charges of criminal behavior in connection with the diesel-emission scandal.
More worrisome for VW than the fate of one executive, however, is the possibility of financial settlements for as many as 11 million diesel vehicles sold globally with the "defeat device" software in them.
Germany has no equivalent to the U.S. class-action lawsuit, meaning that each individual owner must sue the company.
But a decision earlier this year by a German judge that Volkswagen must refund the entire new-car purchase price to the buyer of one such TDI diesel car likely sent chills through the boardroom. VW Group is appealing that judgment.