— Certain owners and lessees of Audi, Bentley, Porsche and Volkswagen vehicles equipped with gasoline engines will receive between $518.40 and $2,332.80 per vehicle after a federal judge approved a fuel economy class action settlement.
According to court documents, Volkswagen agreed to pay more than $96 million for marketing vehicles with overstated fuel economy.
Judge Charles R. Breyer approved the settlement by finding the terms were fair and adequate to vehicle owners who believed they were buying gasoline-powered vehicles with specific fuel economy numbers.
The judge approved a formula based on a vehicle owner driving about 15,000 miles per year, with additional compensation for extra gas that would be used over a period of 96 months.
The class action lawsuit alleges VW fooled customers and regulators by manipulating emissions testing machines by installing software in the transmission control units.
The software allegedly activated during fuel economy testing by altering how the transmissions shifted, causing the estimated fuel economy to be overstated by up to 1 mile per gallon.
The transmission software allegedly slowed down the shifting of gears during testing, a method that required less fuel than a customer would use in real-world driving.
All customers will receive payments based on a prorated formula for months they leased or owned the affected vehicles, while original vehicle owners will receive full compensation based on the settlement terms. Lease holders will be compensated for the full duration of their leases as of the settlement date.
Attorneys for vehicle owners will receive nearly $11 million for fees and more than $2 million for costs.
The settlement adds to the $32 billion Volkswagen has spent after installing illegal emissions software that caused millions of diesel vehicles worldwide to emit illegal nitrogen oxide levels.
It was the massive diesel investigations and penalties that caused the government and lawyers to look at other possible problems with vehicles powered by gasoline.
The VW fuel economy class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco Division: In re Volkswagen 'Clean Diesel' Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation (Audi CO2 cases).