September 27, 2021
By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Volkswagen AG on Monday said it agreed to pay $ 1.5 million to resolve environmental complaints with the states of New Hampshire and Montana over emissions software updates from the 2015 diesel scandal.
The deals, around $ 280 per vehicle, are a small fraction of what the states were initially looking for. The German automaker and several courts previously cited astronomical figures as the highest responsibility the German automaker faces over whether states can enforce emissions laws on emissions software updates after vehicles are sold.
VW will pay New Hampshire $ 1.15 million and has committed to building another high-speed charging station in the state by 2024. VW has agreed to pay Montana $ 357,280.
New Hampshire asked for up to $ 25,000 per day per vehicle and Montana asked for up to $ 10,000 per day per violation. The agreements with the two states announced on Monday concern about 5,500 vehicles.
Last month VW asked the US Supreme Court to overturn an Ohio court ruling that paved the way for the state to move forward with its diesel emissions lawsuit.
The German automaker earlier said in court documents that Ohio’s claims alone “could amount to $ 350 million a day, or more than $ 127 billion a year, over a multi-year period.”
Three remaining states – Illinois, Ohio, and Texas – and two counties – Hillsborough County, Florida, and Salt Lake County, Utah – have filed a lawsuit involving some 47,000 vehicles.
If the other states and counties were satisfied with $ 280 per vehicle, the total would be just $ 13 million.
Volkswagen previously settled US actions induced by the emissions scandal for more than $ 20 billion, but that did not protect it from local and state government liability, an appeals court found.
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)
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