By Margaret Cronin Fisk, Bloomberg.
Volkswagen AG’s $15.3 billion agreement to get a half million emissions-cheating diesel vehicles off U.S. roads sets an auto-industry record that will only go higher as criminal probes and lawsuits on three continents roll ahead.
The German carmaker agreed to devote as much as $10 billion to buy back affected models and compensate drivers. It will also pay $2.7 billion to federal and California regulators to fund pollution-reduction projects, and give $2 billion to be invested in clean technology. Volkswagen also announced a $603 million settlement to resolve consumer and environmental claims with 44 U.S. states.
The settlements mark a swift but partial resolution for VW in the U.S., after the carmaker admitted last September to systematically rigging environmental tests since 2009 to hide that its diesel vehicles were emitting far more pollutants than allowed under U.S. and California law. VW’s widely traded preferred shares closed more than 1.6 percent higher at 107.75 euros in Frankfurt after rising as much as 5 percent Tuesday.