Volkswagen of America has recently said it is creating an independent claims programme for the owners of around 600,000 diesel vehicles that emit up to 40 times the legally allowable emissions.
Volkswagen is facing more than 500 lawsuits in the US after the company has disclosed that 482,000 2.0-litre 2009-2015 diesel cars and 85,000 3.0-litre SUVs and larger cars have higher-than-allowed emissions. For the owners that seek justice by filing complaints, the automaker said it has named compensation expert Ken Feinberg, who administered compensation funds for the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, BP Plc Deepwater Horizon oil spill and General Motors Co ignition switch crashes, to create and administer a claims programme. VW said Feinberg “will develop an independent, fair and swift process for resolving these claims.”
Camille Biros, deputy administrator of the VW claims programme, said it was too early to say if the programme would offer buybacks to vehicle owners, cash or other specific compensation for mileage or performance harmed by emissions repairs. “Everything is on the table,” Biros said. “We haven’t ruled anything in or out.” Feinberg said the programme would need to know what VW’s recall fixes are before it can move forward. “Until we have an understanding of the remedies we can’t predict costs”, Feinberg said on a conference call. VW Group of America President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Horn said Feinberg’s “extensive experience in handling such complex matters will help to guide us as we move forward to make things right with our customers.”