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SA not affected by VW buy back deal

By Jessica Anne Wood

Following the emmissions scandal (commonly referred to as Dieselgate) Volkswagen announced it has reached a settlement agreement with American customers. But when asked if any compensation would be awarded to South African Volkswagen drivers the answer was an emphatic ‘Nein’ (No).

Matt Gennrich, general manager of group communications for Volkswagen South Africa, stated: “South Africa is not affected in any way by this as all our vehicles comply with local legislation as confirmed by the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications.”

It’s been reported that Volkswagen will similarly refuse compensation to European drivers as well, despite calls for it to do so.

Meanwhile, in America…

Volkswagen announced that it had reached an agreement with US Federal Regulators, private plaintiffs and 44 US states on TDI diesel engine vehicles which were found to be in contravention of diesel emissions standards.

The settlement agreement includes, among other things:

  • Vehicle buybacks and lease terminations, emissions modifications (if approved) and cash payments to affected customers for approximately 475,000 eligible 2.0L TDI vehicles
  • Volkswagen agrees to $2.7 billion (about R39.79 billion) environmental remediation fund and to invest $2.0 billion (about R29.47 billion) in initiatives to promote the use of zero emissions vehicles in the US.
  • Separate resolution with US states settles consumer protection claims

The deal

In a statement released by Volkswagen, it noted: “Of approximately 499,000 2.0L TDL vehicles that were produced for sale in the United States, approximately 460,000 Volkswagen and 15,000 Audi vehicles are currently in use and eligible for buybacks and lease terminations or emissions modifications, if approved by regulators. Volkswagen will establish a maximum funding pool for the 2.0L TDI settlement program of $10.033 billion (about R147.76 billion). That amount assumes 100% participation and that 100% of eligible customers choose a buyback or lease termination.”

The deal is subject to the approval of Judge Charles Breyer of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. He presides over the federal Multi-District Litigation (MDL) proceedings related to the diesel matter, according to Volkswagen.

In addition, Volkswagen has also announced an agreement with the attorneys general of 44 US states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. This is to resolve “existing and potential state consumer protection claims related to the diesel matter for a total settlement amount of approximately $603 million (about R 8.88 billion),” explained Volkswagen.

“We take our commitment to make things right very seriously and believe these agreements are a significant step forward. We appreciate the constructive engagement of all the parties, and are very grateful to our customers for their continued patience as the settlement approval process moves ahead. We know that we still have a great deal of work to do to earn back the trust of the American people. We are focused on resolving the outstanding issues and building a better company that can shape the future of integrated, sustainable mobility for our customers,” said Matthias Müller, chief executive officer of Volkswagen AG.

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