Volkswagen Australia has agreed to settle a large class action brought against it by owners of cars affected by the company’s diesel emissions scandal, which broke back in 2015.
The settlement, which is yet to be approved at a federal court level, will equate to between $87 and $127 million across the VW, Audi and Skoda brands.
It means that 100,000 owners of cars that use VW’s EA189 diesel engine are in line to receive a payment that Volkswagen says will average $1400 per car.
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The action was precipitated by admissions at a global level from both Volkswagen and Audi that emissions test-defeating devices were potentially fitted to around 100,000 diesel-powered Volkswagen Group vehicles in Australia, and some 11 million vehicles worldwide.
However, the local settlement is predicated on a no-admission basis from Volkswagen Australia.
“This is a significant step towards fully resolving the diesel lawsuits in Australia, subject to approval by the Federal Court of Australia,” said VW in a statement. “Volkswagen views the in-principle settlements as a further step towards overcoming the diesel issue.”
A copy of the original diesel emissions notice from VW Australia in 2015
A spokesperson from Volkswagen told WhichCar it was unable to comment further, as the matter is still technically before the court.
Five class actions were pending against VW, with the first from Sydney firm Bannister lodged in 2015.
“We are pleased to have achieved an outcome for Australian consumers, we would encourage those affected to come forward after the settlement has been approved by the court,” said Bannister Law in a statement.
Cars affected include the Golf, Polo, Jetta, Passat, Passat CC, Eos, Tiguan and Jetta, as well as the Skoda Octavia, Superb and Yeti, as well as the Audi A1, A3, A4, A5, A6, Q3, Q5 and TT.
More than 70,000 cars were recalled, with new software and, in some cases, minor mechanical updates installed.
In the US, the company agreed to buy back more than half a million affected cars, as well as agreeing to pay fines and claims totalling more than A$40 billion.
Meanwhile, VW says that discussions regarding an in-principle settlement of a civil suit brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) against the company are “close to finalisation and a resolution between the parties is expected shortly,” it said in a statement.
Diesel-powered VW vehicles covered by the ACCC proceedings:
- Amarok 2.0 litre – 2011 to 2012
- Caddy 1.6 and 2.0 litre – 2010 to 2015
- Eos 2.0 litre – 2009 to 2014
- Golf 1.6 and 2.0 litre – 2009 to 2013
- Jetta 1.6 and 2.0 litre – 2009 to 2015
- Passat 2.0 litre – 2008 to 2015
- Passat CC 2.0 litre – 2008 to 2012
- Polo 1.6 litre – 2009 to 2014
- Tiguan 2.0 litre – 2008 to 2015
- CC 2.0 litre – 2011 to 2015