— Volkswagen says about 400,000 German diesel vehicle customers will have the opportunity to receive payments directly from the automaker after settlement talks between VW and attorneys for the plaintiffs failed.
Volkswagen was sued by the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband – vzbv) for manufacturing and selling vehicles with illegal emissions systems.
Volkswagen says settlement negotiations fell apart because attorneys for the plaintiffs demanded more than $54 million in fees, an amount the automaker calls "unwarranted."
VW says it had already agreed to pay nearly $899 million to settle the matter with customers, but the plaintiff's attorneys allegedly wouldn't provide justification for the $54 million in fees. VW also claims lawyers for VW customers refused to allow an independent third party to review the fee demands.
The Federation says settlement negotiations collapsed because VW wouldn't guarantee an adequate system for compensating customers.
Beginning at the end of March 2020, affected VW customers entitled to settlement payments can receive the offer for a one-time payment of about $1,400 to $6,715 per customer.
Volkswagen alleges its actions in Germany didn't affect customers there as they did in other countries because most German customers kept driving their vehicles after a simple software update.
Volkswagen has already paid more $32 billion worldwide thanks to its decision to cheat on emissions tests by using illegal software in millions of vehicles.