Volkswagen Agrees to Pay $14.7 Billion to Settle Diesel Scandal Claims in the U.S.
Volkswagen has agreed to pay nearly $15 billion to settle claims stemming from its diesel emissions cheating scandal in what would be one of the largest consumer class-action settlements ever in the United States.
The proposed settlement, valued at $14.7 billion and involving the federal government and lawyers representing the owners of about 475,000 Volkswagen vehicles, includes just over $10 billion to buy back affected cars at their pre-scandal values, and additional cash compensation for the owners, according to two people briefed on the settlement’s terms.
The cash compensation offered to each car owner will range from $5,100 to $10,000, depending on their market value before Volkswagen’s public admission last September that its supposed “clean diesel” cars had been deliberately designed to cheat on air-quality tests.
Rather than sell their vehicles back to Volkswagen, car owners can also choose to have their vehicles fixed to meet emissions standards, although doing so would probably reduce the engines’ performance and gas mileage. And the methods for fixing the vehicles that Volkswagen has proposed are still subject to approval by the Environmental Protection Agency, one of the federal parties to the case.
车主可以选择退货，也可以选择返修，从而让车辆达到排放标准，不过这样做很可能会降低发动机的性能，增加油耗。大众提出的车辆返修办法仍然需要得到美国国家环境保护局(Environmental Protection Agency)的批准。环保局是这宗案件的联邦当事方之一。
The settlement terms, first reported by Bloomberg News, are to be submitted on Tuesday to a federal judge in California whose final approval would be required for the deal to take effect.
Volkswagen would pay $2.7 billion into an E.P.A. fund, the two people said, to compensate for the environmental impact of its cars, which were fitted with software that enabled them to pass emissions tests but exceed legal pollution limits in on-the-road driving.
Volkswagen has also agreed to spend $2 billion on new cleaner-vehicle projects.
Despite the scope of the agreement, Volkswagen’s legal problems would be far from over.
Volkswagen also faces a criminal inquiry by the Department of Justice, a lawsuit brought by the Federal Trade Commission and an investigation by attorneys general in 42 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The company is also under investigation in a number of other countries, including Germany and South Korea.
大众汽车还面临着由司法部进行的一起刑事调查、联邦贸易委员会(Federal Trade Commission)提起的一桩诉讼，以及42个州、哥伦比亚特区和波多黎各的司法部长进行的一项调查。德国和韩国等其他一些国家也在对该公司进行调查。
The German automaker acknowledged last year that it had installed illegal software in 11 million cars worldwide that made them capable of defeating pollution tests.
During emissions testing, the cars’ pollution controls systems were turned on, curbing toxic emissions at the cost of engine performance. But those emissions controls were not fully engaged on the road, where its cars spewed nitrogen oxides at up to 40 times the levels allowed under the Clean Air Act.
在排放检测中，车辆的污染控制系统会被打开，遏制发动机性能，削减有毒物质的排放。但是，在道路上行驶时，这种排放控制系统并不会充分启动，汽车排放的氮氧化物会比《清洁空气法》(Clean Air Act)要求的水平高至多40倍。
The proposed settlement requires a review by United States District Judge Charles R. Breyer in California and must go through a period of public comment, during which terms could yet change.
这份草拟的和解方案需要加州的联邦地区法官查尔斯·R·布雷耶(Charles R. Breyer)进行审核，还必须经过一段公众评议期。在此期间，条款仍有可能更改。
Affected Volkswagen owners are not bound by the settlement, and some may decide to press for better terms.
The settlement does not include 3-liter Volkswagen diesel vehicles, which were fitted with another version of the cheating software.
Nor will the deal address terms for the owners of 85,000 Volkswagen and Porsche cars sold in the United States that had a different type of diesel engine but also had emissions problems.