Volkswagen to Reimburse Customers Over False Fuel Economy Numbers
Volkswagen Group of America has reached a settlement with plaintiffs who filed a lawsuit claiming that VW intentionally overstated fuel economy in some of its vehicle models.
The settlement, worth USD96.5 million (PHP5 billion), insulates the German car brand from further liabilities and comes with a non-admission of guilt clause. The automaker will also adjust fuel economy numbers for 98,000 units sold in the US to reflect US labeling standards.
The United States' Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said that the software responsible for lowering fuel economy numbers was installed in approximately 1 million cars including those made by Audi, Bentley, and Porsche.
When the software detects that the vehicle is being tested for economy, it cause the transmission to shift gears to optimize fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions. According to the EPA, the software lowered the fuel economy rating by roughly one mile per gallon (0.43 km/l).
Under the terms of the settlement, VW will reimburse eligible customers between between USD5.40 (PHP281.48) and USD24.30 (PHP1,266.65) for each month a vehicle was owned or leased.
"Volkswagen is committed to providing customers with transparent fuel economy data for our vehicles, in line with U.S. labeling requirements," said Pietro Zollino, Executive Vice President, Communications for Volkswagen Group of America.