Court Approves VW's $14.7 Billion Dieselgate Settlement And Now Owners Can Get Their Money

Photo: Gene J. Puskar/Ap

It’s been over a year since Volkswagen was caught cheating on emissions tests with its 2.0-liter diesel cars, and over four months since the U.S. Justice Department revealed VW’s $14.7 billion settlement—a settlement that has just now been granted final approval by the court. Here’s what that means for TDI owners.


VW’s settlement, partly devised by the Federal Trade Commission, includes a funding pool of $10.033 billion dollars to accommodate buybacks for all 2.0-liter diesel VWs that cheated U.S. emissions regulations.

That means owners of 2009-2015 Jettas, 2009-2014 Jetta SportWagens, 2010-2015 Audi A3s and Golfs, 2015 Golf SportWagens, 2013-2015 Beetles and 2012-2015 Passats can get a check for their car’s September 2015 NADA trade-in values adjusted for mileage and option packages.

Volkswagen told Jalopnik in an email that owners should start getting their checks or electronic fund transfer by mid-November, when they drop the car off at the dealership.

That funding pool also covers owners who don’t want to participate in buybacks, but instead want to have their cars fixed (though there’s still no CARB and EPA-approved vehicle “modification” yet, and VW has until late next year to get that finalized).


Whether they choose to participate in the buyback or the fix, the settlement offers VW TDI owners between $5,100 and $10,000 in cash restitution— money that will be available for those participating in the buyback as soon as mid next month.

But for those who want to have their cars fixed, the restitution payment will not be available until the car is taken in for repair, and in the case of 2015 model year TDI’s, VW says the fix might take two dealer visits, and that owners will get two-thirds of their restitution payment on the first visit, and the remainder on the second.


On top of that, the settlement also requires VW to set aside $2.7 billion in environmental remediation, and a further 2.0-billion to “promote Zero Emissions Vehicle technology.”


Today, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California has finally approved this settlement agreement, meaning owners can finish filling their claim (a process that we’ve detailed here), and expect a check from VW soon thereafter.

Owners have until September 1, 2018, to submit their claims, and they can change their mind on whether to participate in the modification or buyback all the way up until the car is taken to the dealer to be repaired or purchased.


Above is a diagram of how the claims process works, and here’s a video explainer:


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David Tracy

Writer, Jalopnik. 1979 Jeep Cherokee Golden Eagle, 1985 Jeep J10, 1948 Willys CJ-2A, 1995 Jeep Cherokee, 1992 Jeep Cherokee auto, 1991 Jeep Cherokee 5spd, 1976 Jeep DJ-5D, totaled 2003 Kia Rio