A federal appeals court on Monday upheld Volkswagen’s $10.03 billion settlement with the owners of almost 500,000 contaminating diesel vehicles announced in 2016.
The three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals stated, in dismissing the objections to the settlement, that it “delivered tangible, substantial benefits to class members, seemingly the equivalent of — or superior to —those obtainable after successful litigation, and was arrived at after a momentous effort.”
Overall, Volkswagen has agreed to pay over $25 billion in the United States for claims from owners, environmental regulators, states and dealers and offered to purchase back about 500,000 polluting U.S. vehicles. The buybacks will continue through the end of the next year.
The ruling on Monday pertained to the settlement concerning the owners and former owners of 475,000 polluting 2.0-liter vehicles. The automaker agreed to offer owners of the 2.0 liter vehicles between $5,100 and $10,000 in compensation, along with the estimated value of the vehicle.
Volkswagen refused to comment on the appeals court decision.
The German automaker confessed in September 2015 to secretly setting up software in almost 500,000 U.S. cars to cheat government exhaust emissions tests. The vehicles had emitted up to 40 times more than the legally allowable pollutants.