Parent company Volkswagen AG and Volkswagen Group of America said they had reached proposed agreements to resolve outstanding civil claims regarding around 78,000 affected vehicles with three-litre TDI V6 diesel engines in the United States.

Two agreements have been submitted to the court for approval: a proposed class settlement with private plaintiffs represented by a court-appointed Plaintiffs' Steering Committee (PSC) on behalf of a nationwide class of current and former owners and lessees of eligible vehicles; and a proposed consent order submitted by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

"With the court-approved two-litre TDI programmeme well under way and now this proposed [three-litre] programmeme, all of our customers with affected vehicles in the US will have a resolution available to them," said Hinrich Woebcken, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, in a statement.

Proposed three-litre settlement

Volkswagen has agreed, among other terms, to provide cash payments to all eligible members of the class, and:

  • Recall and repair, free of charge to the customer, approximately 58,000 affected 2013-2016 VW, Audi and Porsche three-litre TDI V6 vehicles (so-called generation two vehicles) to bring them into compliance with the emissions standards to which they were originally certified, if an appropriate emissions compliant repair is approved by US regulators.
  • Buy back or offer trade-in credit of equal value for, or terminate the leases of, approximately 20,000 eligible 2009-2012 VW and Audi three-litre TDI V6 vehicles (so-called Generation 1 vehicles) or, if approved by US regulators, modify the vehicles to substantially reduce their nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions so as to allow eligible owners and lessees to keep them.
  • Volkswagen has agreed to pay up to approximately US$1.2bn in benefits for the three-litre TDI settlement programme, assuming 100% participation in the programme, a 100% buyback of all eligible Generation 1 vehicles and availability of an emissions compliant repair for Generation 2 vehicles. Volkswagen expects to be able to bring affected Generation 2 vehicles to the same emissions standards to which the vehicles were originally certified.
  • Volkswagen will begin the three-litre TDI settlement programme as soon as the court grants final approval to the settlement agreements. At the earliest, approval will occur in May 2017. 

The automaker said potential claimants under the class settlement did not need to take any immediate but individual class members would receive "extensive" notification of their rights and options (including the option to "opt out" of the settlement agreement) if the court granted preliminary approval of the proposed class settlement at a hearing scheduled to take place on 14 February 2017.

The proposed settlement applies to all three-litre TDI V6 diesel engine vehicles that VW, Audi, or Porsche marketed or sold in the US for model years 2009 through 2016. The vehicles are divided into two generations:

Generation 1 Vehicles
Volkswagen Touareg - 2009-2012
Audi Q7 - 2009-2012

Generation 2 Vehicles
Volkswagen Touareg - 2013-2016
Audi Q7 - 2013-2015
Audi A6, A7, A8, A8L, Q5 - 2014-2016
Porsche Cayenne Diesel - 2013-2016

If VW is unable to obtain "timely" emissions compliant repair for eligible Generation 2 vehicles, it will offer to buy back or provide trade-in credit of equal value for, or terminate the leases of, eligible vehicles and may also seek approval by US regulators to offer customers a modification to substantially reduce their NOx emissions.