Judge gives preliminary OK to VW’s $48M settlement with investors

30 Nov by admin

Judge gives preliminary OK to VW’s $48M settlement with investors

UPDATED: 11/30/2018 4:57 pm ET – adds VW statement

WASHINGTON — A U.S. judge in California granted preliminary approval to a $48 million settlement for investors who said Volkswagen AG made false and misleading statements over excess diesel emissions.

Lawyers for the investors, who include police and other municipal pension funds, had estimated that the maximum they could have recovered was $147 million. But Judge Charles Breyer said the settlement agreed in August appeared “fair, adequate and reasonable.”

VW, in a statement, said on Friday that the “proposed settlement agreement eliminates the uncertainty and considerable costs of protracted litigation in the United States and is in the best interests of the company.” The ruling was issued late Wednesday.

In total, Volkswagen has agreed to pay more than $25 billion in the United States for claims from owners, environmental regulators, states and dealers, and has offered to buy back about 500,000 polluting U.S. vehicles.

The buybacks will continue through 2019.

The automaker admitted in September 2015 to secretly installing software in nearly 500,000 U.S. light vehicles to skirt government exhaust emissions tests. The vehicles had emitted up to 40 times the legally allowable pollutants.

In 2017, VW also pleaded guilty to fraud, obstruction of justice and falsifying statements in a U.S. court. Under the plea agreement, VW agreed to sweeping reforms, new audits and oversight by an independent monitor for three years.



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