Separately, a federal judge in California on Thursday was considering whether to grant final approval to a plan for Volkswagen AG to pay at least $1.22 billion to fix or buyback almost 80,000 polluting 3.0-liter luxury diesel Porsche, Audi and VW vehicles in the United States over the German automaker's emissions-cheating scandal.
Last fall, Breyer approved a separate settlement for Volkswagen worth up to $14.7 billion, requiring it to buy back 475,000 2.0-liter polluting vehicles that emitted up to 40 times legally allowable emissions.
The judge on Thursday also approved a separate settlement in which VW supplier Bosch must pay $327.5 million to consumers, including $350 payments to 2-liter auto owners and up to $1,500 each to 3-liter owners.
The deadline to file a claim is December 31st, 2019 and vehicle buyback values will be calculated from September 18th, 2015 which is the date the allegations of emissions cheating became public.
Addressing the court Thursday morning, three objectors complained the three-liter settlement fails to adequately compensate owners of newer-model "generation 2" vehicles and those who leased the affected automobiles. The lead attorney for consumer plaintiffs, Elizabeth Cabraser, also welcomed the ruling from the California judge and said, "We believe the substantial compensation and steps to fix or remove polluting cars from the roads detailed in the settlements provide excellent value to consumers and hold Volkswagen to account".
In total, VW will pay about almost $24bn to buy back cars and compensate owners in the United States and Canada, after admitting it installed software to cheat emissions tests in a decade-long conspiracy.
Robert Giuffra, lead attorney for Volkswagen, said of Breyer's likely approval of its 3-liter settlement: "If the court approves these settlements, it means that we have reached a resolution is for every single diesel vehicle in the United States, almost 600,000". That could push the value of the settlement to $4 billion.
Resolution of the civil case comes after another federal judge ordered the German auto maker in April to pay a $2.8 billion criminal fine as part of a plea deal with US prosecutors. "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".
Attorneys for Volkswagen countered that the company has taken pains in its various settlements to make things right with the environment, consumers and regulators and expressed confidence that newer 3-liter diesels like Dasmalchi's can be brought into compliance.
Owners can go to www.VWCourtSettlement.com and www.BoschVWSettlement.com for details on the agreements and how to apply for the benefits.
Robert Giuffra, an attorney for Volkswagen, said Thursday that the company is nearing the end of the road in resolving its diesel issues in the U.S. Some 11 million cars worldwide have the deceptive software.