Following the largest auto-related class-action settlement in U.S. history, Connecticut will receive more than $16 million from Volkswagen.
According to The Associated Press, Volkswagen will spend more than $15 billion to settle consumer lawsuits and government allegations. The lawsuit states that the company cheated on emissions tests.
Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen said Volkswagen violated state laws that prohibit “unfair or deceptive trade practices by marketing, selling and leasing certain diesel vehicles equipped with illegal and undisclosed emissions defeat devices designed to circumvent emissions standards.”
Because of the violations, Volkswagen will have to pay more than $570 million.
Jepsen said Volkswagen “lied to consumers and to regulators.” He went on say that the company said its vehicles “were not only fuel efficient but also clean, which was not just misleading but downright false.”
“The company's conduct was intentional, calculated and egregious,” Jepsen said in a statement on Tuesday. “Today's settlement resolves the significant violations of state consumer protection laws, and the scope of this settlement should serve as a reminder to all companies, across all sectors, that gross misrepresentation to the public and to regulators is not only illegal, it's exceptionally bad for business."
Cash payments will be given to customers, so Volkswagen can buy back or modify certain Volkswagen and Audi 2.0-liter diesel vehicles.
"Separately, Volkswagen has reached agreements that will attempt to make whole consumers who have purchased or leased these vehicles,” Jepsen said. “Those agreements are subject to court approval and some details, including the feasibility of a fix for vehicles equipped with a defeat device, remain to be developed."
While my office is not a party to those settlements, Jepsen said "Connecticut consumers should be aware of these developments" and his office "will continue to monitor those agreements throughout their implementation."
Connecticut was one of the six states that investigated the conduct by Volkswagen. The majority of the money received by state will be go to the state's General Fund with the remainder going to the Department of Consumer Protection and Attorney General's Office.
The state will also “pursue additional penalties from Volkswagen for its violations of environmental and emissions laws and regulations,” attorney general’s office said.
"Consumers will do business with companies because they are good actors that they've grown to trust. When companies step over the line, consumers lose confidence. As regulators, our job is to hold the companies accountable and help make consumers whole," state Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Jonathan Harris said in a statement on Tuesday. "We're pleased that consumers who purchased one of these vehicles will now have the opportunity to receive a buyback or a modification to their vehicle when one becomes available."
The investigation into Volkswagen found there were more than 570,000 2.0 and 3.0-liter diesel vehicles in the United States including 11,911 vehicles in Connecticut.
Here is the list of the affected vehicles:
|Vehicle Make and Models|
|2009||VW Jetta, VW Jetta Sportwagen|
|2010||VW Golf, VW Jetta, VW Jetta Sportwagen, Audi A3|
|2011||VW Golf, VW Jetta, VW Jetta Sportwagen, Audi A3|
|2012||VW Golf, VW Jetta, VW Jetta Sportwagen, VW Passat , Audi A3|
|2013||VW Beetle, VW Beetle Convertible, VW Golf, VW Jetta, VW Jetta Sportwagen, VW Passat, Audi A3|
|2014||VW Beetle, VW Beetle Convertible, VW Golf, VW Jetta, VW Jetta Sportwagen, VW Passat|
|2015||VW Beetle, VW Beetle Convertible, VW Golf, VW Golf Sportwagen, VW Jetta, VW Passat, Audi A3|
To read the full the state's agreement with Volskwagen, click here.
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