Alaska Joins Emissions Fraud Settlement with Volkswagen
June 28, 2016 (Anchorage, AK) – The Alaska Department of Law today joined 37 states in a settlement requiring Volkswagen to pay more than $570 million for marketing, selling, and leasing diesel vehicles equipped with illegal software to beat emissions tests. Alaska will receive $2.5 million under the settlement, based on the number of vehicles sold in the state. Alaskans who bought or leased vehicles are also eligible for payment under separate settlements. In total, there were 1,245 affected Volkswagen and Audi 2.0-liter diesel vehicles in Alaska.
According to the investigation by the attorneys general, Volkswagen sold more than 570,000 2.0- and 3.0-liter diesel vehicles in the United States containing the “defeat device” software, which intentionally gives a false reading to pass emissions tests. The company actively hid the existence of the defeat device from regulators and the public. In their marketing and advertisements, Volkswagen misled the public by promoting the cars as environmentally friendly or “green” and able to pass emissions tests, when, in fact, Volkswagen knew the vehicles emitted harmful pollutants at a much higher rate than the law permitted.
Under separate class action and federal settlements, Volkswagen is on the hook for up to $10 billion to consumers. Volkswagen is required to implement a restitution and recall program for more than 475,000 owners and lessees of 2.0 liter diesel vehicles with model years 2009 through 2015. Once the consumer restitution program has court approval, consumers who purchased or leased the affected vehicles will receive a restitution payment of at least $5,100. Purchasers will have the option of either selling the vehicle back to Volkswagen or having it fixed, and lessees can either terminate the lease with no penalty or have it fixed.