Volkswagen 2.0 Emissions Settlement: What People Are Saying

What People Are Saying: Volkswagen Emissions Settlement

Media

Editorial Board, New York Times, June 28, 2016

"The federal government's $14.7 billion settlement with Volkswagen over the company's emissions cheating scandal is one of the largest consumer class action payouts in American history and a significant hit for the company. It should also act as a deterrent to future bad behavior by companies that deliberately violate rules aimed at protecting consumers and the environment....The settlement appears to provide fair compensation to consumers, many of whom bought their diesel cars because they believed Volkswagen's "clean diesel" marketing campaign."

Editorial Board, Los Angeles Times, June 28, 2016

"A settlement announced early Tuesday over Volkswagen's rigging of vehicle emissions tests - as clear a case of fraud as you can find - will be good for consumers who, based on VW's lies, bought diesel cars that secretly spewed unlawfully high levels of pollutants and climate-warming gases into the air.... And that's appropriate - the people who were directly defrauded should be made whole."

Daniel Fisher, finance staff writer, Forbes, June 28, 2016

"There's something for everybody in the $15 billion Volkswagen settlement the government and private attorneys announced this morning."

Alison Frankel, columnist, Reuters, June 28, 2016

"The settlement allows VW to begin repairing relationships with its customers, starting with the marketing of the deal itself. Instead of fighting with people who have bought its cars, the company can try to win back their trust and their business."

Dee-Ann Durbin, reporter, Associated Press (video), June 28, 2016

"This is a good deal for consumers."

Michelle Naranjo, writer, Consumer Reports, June 28, 2016

"The $14.7 billion sticker price on Volkswagen's proposed U.S. settlement for its emissions deception scandal is massive in breadth and scope and unprecedented for a penalty in the auto industry...[O]verall, the settlement, expected to be approved by a judge later this summer, is tough, strong and consumer-oriented."

Bill Howard, reporter, ExtremeTech, June 29, 2016

"Annoyance factor aside, you're a winner...As we predicted last fall, anyone who owns a VW diesel may find VW's settlement turns out to be a good deal...No matter whether you bought or leased, or disposed of your VW, in the wake of dieselgate, the settlement is likely to make you money."

Michael Hines, staff writer, Carbuzz.com, June 30, 2016

"I think Volkswagen being forced to pay up and buy back affected cars is one of the greatest things to ever happen to consumers. Why? Because unlike most recalls, this one didn't directly harm anyone...The arrogance the heads of the company showed and their utter contempt for the environment and laws of the US and countries around the world is deplorable. They should have the book thrown at them as hard as possible. But when it comes to consumers my eyes are dry. Each one of them is guaranteed to get $5,100 as a 'sorry.' ...That sounds like a great deal to me, and it's one I bet most Americans would take if given the chance, scandal or not."

Editorial Board, Washington Post, July 1, 2016

"In the landmark $15 billion settlement Volkswagen struck with the federal government and the state of California on Tuesday, the massive automaker admitted no liability. But it is clear enough that the company brazenly defied the law, unfairly undercut its competitors, cynically betrayed its consumers and damaged the country's air quality. It deserves to pay for tricking drivers and regulators into thinking its "clean diesel" vehicles met federal air pollution standards - and it will. This is, on balance, a just result."

Bradley Joseph Saaks, contributor, Bloomberg, July 6, 2016

"Volkswagen AG's diesel emission scandal may be one of the best things to happen to American air quality."

Sindhu Sundar, reporter, Law360, July 8, 2016

"The whirlwind development was a milestone - the largest consumer settlement by an automaker."

Staff, The Week, July 9, 2016

"The unprecedented deal dwarfs recent auto industry settlements, like the $1.4 billion Toyota paid over flawed accelerators and the more than $2 billion General Motors has paid to settle claims related to faulty ignition switches."

Editorial Board, The Providence Journal, July 21, 2016

"Volkswagen has agreed to an extraordinary $14.7 billion settlement in its emissions scandal case."

Kyle Stock, reporter, Bloomberg, July 26, 2016

"It will mark a painful hit for Volkswagen... and a windfall for owners of otherwise deeply depreciated vehicles."

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Dealers, Consumers, and Investors

Jeff Nash, Jetta SportWagen TDI owner and Managing Editor at CNBC.com, June 28, 2016

Op-ed titled: "My Volkswagen is suddenly worth so much more than I expected"

"I love my VW, but I'm taking the cash and ditching the car...Given the company's two options [of a fix or a buyback], we'd be crazy to keep it."

Matthew Welch, general manager of Auburn Volkswagen, NPR, June 29, 2016

[The settlement is] "extraordinary...[N]othing's ever been done like this in the car business before...The great news for the customer is [the settlement] really takes care of them...I have over a thousand of our guests and customers that have diesels, and we never thought they'd be compensated to this level for cars they already love."

Jeremy Malczyk, owner of 2012 Volkswagen Jetta, Bloomberg, July 26, 2016

"I bought it just before I kind of found Jesus, financially. So this is going to be kind of a nice way to reset."

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Consumer and Environmental Advocates

Steven Cohen, Executive Director, Columbia University Earth Institute, Huffington Post, June 27, 2016

"The market and government regulators are sending a message that is clear and ought not be misunderstood: people care about the environment and the quality of their air. If people did not support air pollution regulations they would not have cared about Volkswagen's disregard of environmental law. Government is obligated to enforce the law, but in this case you can sense that the U.S. government is devoting extra effort to this highly visible case."

U.S. Public Research Interest Group, Official Statement, June 28, 2016

"Nine months after news of Volkswagen's emission scandal broke, we're glad to see a settlement that compensates consumers, cleans up the environment, and deters future wrongdoing. Today's announcement is a good first step towards making consumers and the environment whole again. Although we called for buybacks at full purchase price, the inclusion of up to $10 billion for buybacks and additional compensation is a win for consumers. The inclusion of $4.7 billion for emission reductions and investments in zero emissions technology are important steps in reducing pollution caused by the scandal and deterring future criminal acts."

Sierra Club, Official Statement, June 28, 2016

"Volkswagen chose to poison our families with dangerous pollution just to pad their pocketbooks. This settlement, by removing or fixing 85 percent of the vehicles on the road by fall of 2019, compensating affected consumers, and creating an environmental mitigation fund, is a strong step towards cleaning up Volkswagen's dirty deceit."

William Wallace, policy analyst at Consumers Union, Consumerist, June 28, 2016

"This is very promising for consumers cheated by Volkswagen. We're glad that owners and lessees of 2.0-liter vehicles would be able to choose what to do with their faulty cars, and get significant cash compensation regardless of their choice. We'll be watching closely to make sure VW follows through on its commitments to both consumers and the environment, and that the civil and criminal penalties the government imposes on VW are high enough to deter companies from defrauding consumers like this in the future."

Monique Goyens, Director of the European Consumers Organization, Foreign Policy, June 28, 2016

"Consumers have been massively misled by Volkswagen and this settlement in the U.S. recognizes the damage suffered by car drivers."

Jack Gillis, director of public affairs at Consumer Federation of America, Bloomberg BNA, July 1, 2016

"The [settlement] offer is reasonable."

Frank O'Donnell, President, Clean Air Watch, Bloomberg, July 6, 2016

"It's safe to say that the settlement should bring about cleaner air, less pollution-related disease and less premature deaths."

Paul Billings, Senior Vice President, American Lung Association, Bloomberg, July 6, 2016

"This won't solve the problem of older, high-polluting, legacy diesel vehicles -- but it should take a big chunk out of it and result in cleaner air for all."

Mike Litt, Consumer Program Advocate, U.S. Public Interest Research Group, Northern California Record, July 7, 2016

"The fact they're getting the buyback at the value before the scandal broke, plus additional compensation is still a win for consumers."

"You have the state attorneys general, you have the different government regulators, you have consumer and environmental advocacy groups, you have the class-action lawsuit. All of these working in tandem is what's ensuring as much accountability as possible."

David Clegern, Spokesman, California Air Resources Board, Bloomberg, July 19, 2016

"Volkswagen knowingly broke the law and lied about it, not the vehicle owners...Therefore, owners are being given as much flexibility as possible in how they choose to handle their individual vehicles." [The legal agreement with VW will fully mitigate the environmental harm from any past and future emissions from the affected vehicles, Clegern said.]

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Lawyers, Academics and Auto Industry Experts

David Uhlmann, Law Professor at University of Michigan, former Chief of the Justice Department's Environmental Crimes Section, New York Times, June 27, 2016

"It's a remarkable deal for Volkswagen owners who were defrauded by the company...It's hard to see why consumers would want to take advantage of the fix and not the buyback option, unless they just love their cars. For Volkswagen, it's an extremely expensive settlement, far more than many analysts predicted."

Karl Brauer, senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book, MLive, June 28, 2016

"At nearly tenfold the cost of recent payouts by GM and Toyota this one should hold the record for most expensive automotive settlement for quite some time. While undoubtedly a painful pill for VW's accountants and stockholders to swallow it's also the most comprehensive and customer-friendly resolution I've ever seen."

Mike Tyndall, European analyst at Citi, Financial Times, June 28, 2016

"This is a major win and a step in the right direction, but the fat lady is not warming her vocals...They've done a mea culpa in the US - the rest of the world is open to debate."

Carl W. Tobias, Law Professor at University of Richmond, Washington Post , June 28, 2016

"I think Toyota and VW and these other companies, they don't understand or underestimate the American legal and regulatory system. Well, it caught up with them this time."

Carl Tobias, The Guardian, June 28, 2016

"What's critical is this is an historic settlement certainly in terms of amount but also in terms of what it covers or tries to cover. This is a real step forward: people who own the vehicles seem to be getting a pretty good deal especially with the buybacks and the compensation on top of that."

Alex Klein, vice president of data science at Autolist.com, Bloomberg BNA, July 1, 2016

"At its core, the premium is very significant."

Chris Miller, Executive Director, Advanced Engine Systems Institute, Bloomberg, July 6, 2016

"In some of the really populated urban pockets, I think this could make a huge, huge contribution."

Jon Mills, External Communications Director, Cummins, Bloomberg, July 6, 2016

"Cummins has helped many school districts and municipalities modernize their bus and truck fleets improving fuel efficiency and reducing their environmental impact. The settlement will provide additional resources for these efforts."

Daniel G. Kagan, Lawyer, Berman & Simmons, Portland Herald, July 7, 2016

"This announcement is a huge victory for American consumers - not just VW diesel owners, but also everyone who buys anything on good faith that the product was built with integrity. It is a victory thanks to American law allowing class action lawsuits."

Jessica Caldwell, Director of industry Analysis, Edmunds.com, Omaha World Herald, July 22, 2016

"The buyback is generous. They'll be good deals."

Ernie Garcia, CEO, Carvana, Bloomberg, July 26, 2016

"Financially, consumers are going to do far better than if diesel-gate never happened. My guess is most of them will be able to make a decision on this very quickly."

Karl Brauer, Senior Analyst, Kelley Blue Book, Bloomberg, July 26, 2016

"It is certainly the most comprehensive and thorough compensation package I've ever seen an automaker offer owners."

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Policymakers

Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL), Edmonds, June 28, 2016

"This was one of the most egregious examples of corporate fraud in recent history. Today's settlement is not only a victory for American consumers but hopefully it will serve as a deterrent to those who seek to intentionally deceive the public."

Kamala Harris, Press Release, July 6, 2016

"This additional settlement sends an unequivocal message to Volkswagen and any other automaker that California will aggressively enforce our robust consumer and environmental protection laws."

Edith Ramirez, Chairwoman, Federal Trade Commission, Road and Track, July 26, 2016

"Consumers who were cheated by Volkswagen's deceptive advertising campaign will be able to get full and fair compensation, not only for the lost or diminished value of their car but also for the other harms that VW caused them."

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Other

Charles Breyer, U.S. District Judge, San Francisco Bay, July 26, 2016

"The settlement is sufficiently fair, adequate, and reasonable to the 2.0-liter diesel engine vehicle consumers to move forward with class notice."

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