If you own or had owned a Volkswagen or Audi car, you could be receiving thousands of dollars in a settlement with the car company for allegations it rigged emissions tests on some models.
Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller says the company advertised the cars as environmentally friendly or “green,” but the cars were set up to get around nitrogen oxide emission tests. “The system would recognize within the car when the test was being administered and be able to alter the operation of the vehicle in a way to pass the test,” Miller explains
He says the scandal was first discovered in 2013 by the International Council for Clean Transportation, which commissioned West Virginia University researchers to test diesel car emissions. The tests found emissions well over the acceptable limit.
Miller says the buyers of VW or Audi cars with two-liter diesel engines in the model years 2009 through 2015 will be paid restitution. They’ll get 20 percent of the value of the car when they were purchased, plus $3,300. So, the payments will range from a minimum of $5,100 up to $10,000.
The German automaker sold more than 570,000 of the cars, including more than 3,600 currently registered in Iowa. Miller says you also have the option of keeping or repairing the car.
“They can have the car bought back by volkswagen for its value at the same time period right before the scandal took place, or they can have the car fixed to meet environmental standards,” Miller says.
You can still be eligible for a payment even if you already sold the car. He says if you sold the car after September 18th of 2103 you can get 50 percent of the settlement payment. Miller says volkswagen will be contacting vehicle owners as soon as the settlement gets final approval.
Volkswagen is also paying $2.7 billion to the states involved for a fund to support environmental programs. “Iowa is expected to receive a little more than 20 million dollars, it’s like a grants program,” Millers says. “And what will be done is the money can be used to upgrade for instance, school buses. In some case replace them with much more environmentally friendly vehicles as opposed to one that was very old — or in some cases — change the engine.” He says other evironmental programs will be considered too.
A third pot of money from the settlement will pay for repeated violations of the state consumer protection laws. “The states are receiving $570 million…for the civil penalties. Iowa will receive about $3.5 million of that 570 million,” according to Miller.
Here is a list of the car models:
2009 VW Jetta, VW Jetta Sportwagen
2010 VW Golf, VW Jetta, VW Jetta Sportwagen, Audi A3
2011 VW Golf, VW Jetta, VW Jetta Sportwagen, Audi A3
2012 VW Golf, VW Jetta, VW Jetta Sportwagen, Audi A3
2013 VW Beetle, VW Beetle Convertible, VW Golf, VW Jetta, VW Jetta Sportwagen, Audi A3
2014 VW Beetle, VW Beetle Convertible, VW Golf, VW Jetta, VW Jetta Sportwagen
2012 2013 2014 VW Passat
2015 VW Beetle, VW Beetle Convertible, VW Golf, VW Golf Sportwagen, VW Jetta, VW Passat, Audi A3
You can find out more information on the settlement is available at: VWcourtsettlement.com.