Lawsuit Settled: Volkswagen Paid Its Dieselgate Victims More than $9 Billion

It seems like only yesterday that we were all shocked by the Volkswagen “Dieselgate” scandal, but now, five years later, one part of it has finally come to pass. The Federal Trade Commission reported recently that Volkswagen paid out all of the previous “clean diesel” car owners a healthy sum of money in order to finally settle the case. While there are other parts of the ongoing investigations that still need settling, at least the payouts to the former Volkswagen diesel owners have been settled.

Most Volkswagen owners opted for the buyback

To recap, when the Dieselgate scandal came to light back in 2015, Volkswagen admitted to using “defeat devices” in order to pass emissions tests and falsely claim their vehicles, which also included Audis and Porsches, to be “clean diesels.” For restitution, the owners of the affected cars were able to either opt for their cars to be modified in order to comply with the clean-air rules or to participate in a buyback or terminate their leases early. As you can imagine, more than 86 percent of the owners chose to return their cars, which led to Volkswagen paying everyone out to a tune of $9.5 billion, as noted by the FTC in its Final Status Report.  

The “Dieselgate” scandal reached global proportions as well. It’s been reported that 260,000 German customers were also affected by Volkswagen’s wrongdoings and were offered a similar type of compensation as U.S. customers, however, for a smaller sum of money. Volkswagen plans to pay its German customers a total of €830 million to owners that purchased their cars before December 31, 2015.

Volkswagen Assembly line
Volkswagen Assembly line | (Photo by globalmomentsullstein bild via Getty Images)

Where will Volkswagen go from here?

While Volkswagen has obviously faced an uphill battle when it comes to clearing its name in the minds of consumers, so the automaker has realigned its focus in the past couple of years to concentrate on the production of electric cars. In fact, the German brand is looking to head full-force into an electric future, so much so, that it set a lofty goal of producing 1.5 million electric vehicles worldwide by the year 2025.

The only electric Volkswagen vehicle currently for sale is the e-Golf, however, we can all brace ourselves for the forthcoming ID. Family, which includes the ID.4, and ID. Buzz. According to The Verge, the ID.3, a hatchback capable of 350 miles of range and priced at around $30,000, should be available in Europe this year, however, it sadly won’t be coming to the U.S. However, it goes to show that Volkswagen is making some headway on its all-electric global future.

VW ID Buzz
VW ID Buzz, hopefully out before we’re all too old to care | VW

Neverending Volkswagen Dieselgate Investigations Continue

Is it a good idea to buy a used Volkswagen diesel vehicle?

The “Dieselgate” scandal did affect a lot of Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche models including cars like the Golf and Jetta TDI as well as the Q5 TDI models, and many of them are still available on the used market. If you’re interested in one, you can rest assured that the emissions fix has been put in place and you should be able to get into one of these cars at a very fair price, if not at a bargain. Ultimately, if you don’t mind having to fill up with diesel fuel and don’t care about the brand’s tarnished reputation, we would say that it’s a good idea to buy one.