Denver – Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman today released additional information specific to Coloradans affected by the national settlement with Volkswagen. Colorado, along with thirty-six other attorneys general, and several federal agencies entered into national settlements with Volkswagen to pay more than $570 million in penalties for illegally marketing, selling and leasing diesel vehicles equipped with illegal and undisclosed defeat device software, and to repay consumers that bought these vehicles.
This settlement affects some 11,162 Colorado automobile owners. Owners of affected cars will have the option to be paid—on top of the vehicle value— a minimum of $5,100, and as much as $10,000 in restitution if they choose the “buyback option.” In total, Volkswagen is required to implement a restitution and recall program for more than 475,000 owners and lessees of 2.0-liter diesel vehicles, of certain models produced from 2009 through 2015 at a maximum cost of just over $10 billion. Additional details about exactly which models are included and consumer restitution options are provided in the accompanying fact sheet. In addition, the State of Colorado will receive $14,536,492 in penalties from the settlements.
"It is unconscionable that VW installed software to intentionally cheat on state environmental emission tests. These settlements reflect our concerted effort to hold VW accountable for its blatant deceit of consumers and gross disregard for our environment,” said Attorney General Coffman. “Buyers who intended to purchase environmentally-friendly vehicles will get thousands of dollars back. Additionally, the states will be given the means to mitigate the resulting harm to the environment.”
The attorneys generals’ investigation confirmed that Volkswagen sold more than 570,000 2.0- and 3.0-liter diesel vehicles in the United States equipped with “defeat device” software intended to circumvent applicable emissions standards for certain air pollutants, and actively concealed the existence of the defeat device from regulators and the public. Volkswagen made false statements to consumers in their marketing and advertising, misrepresenting the cars as environmentally friendly or “green” and that the cars were compliant with federal and state emissions standards, when, in fact, Volkswagen knew the vehicles emitted harmful oxides of nitrogen (NOx) at rates many times higher than the law permitted.
These settlements are the first between state and federal entities with Volkswagen to provide cash payments to affected consumers and to require Volkswagen to buy back or modify certain VW and Audi 2.0-liter diesel vehicles. In addition, Volkswagen is prohibited from engaging in future unfair or deceptive acts and practices in connection with its dealings with consumers and regulators. Details about diesel vehicles with 3.0-liter models, which are not covered by this settlement, will be released when available.
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