Judge approves emissions-cheating settlement for 3-liter VWs

A federal judge in San Francisco has approved a $1.2 billion settlement with owners of 88,500 Volkswagens with 3-liter diesel engines rigged to cheat on emissions tests.

U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer gave the deal final approval during a hearing Thursday. The deal ends most of the litigation over VW's cheating scandal, which became public in 2015.

Owners of 3-liter models from 2009-2012 that can't be fixed to meet pollution standards will be offered buybacks. They also will get compensation ranging from $7,755 to $13,880.

Those who own newer cars will get compensation of $7,039 to $16,114. If VW can't fix the newer cars, then the owners' attorneys can return to court to seek buybacks. That could push the value of the settlement to $4 billion.

VW previously agreed to spend up to $10 billion compensating owners of roughly 475,000 Volkswagens and Audi vehicles with 2-liter diesel engines — the bulk of the vehicles caught up in Volkswagen's emissions cheating scandal.

"These agreements accomplish our goal of making the consumers harmed by Volkswagen's emissions deception whole, while repairing or removing illegally polluting vehicles from our roads," Elizabeth Cabraser, the plaintiffs' lead attorney, said in a statement.

The payments are available only to Porsche, VW and Audi owners who take part in the class-action lawsuit settlement, Cabraser said.

Breyer also approved a $327.5 million settlement with Bosch, which supplied the software in the cheating engines. Under that deal, 3-Liter diesel owners will get up to $1,500 in compensation, while 2-liter owners will get $350.

Owners can go to www.VWCourtSettlement.com and www.BoschVWSettlement.com for details on the agreements and how to apply for the benefits.

Volkswagen has now settled most U.S. consumer claims stemming from the emissions scandal and agreed to pay $4.3 billion to settle a U.S. criminal investigation.

The company has acknowledged that the cars were programmed to turn on emissions controls during government lab tests and turn off the controls while on the road. They emitted up to 40 times the legal limit for harmful nitrogen oxide. Some 11 million cars worldwide have the deceptive software.