Volkswagen’s Dieselgate scandal has tarnished the German automaker in more ways than one.
This week, however, the Federal Trade Commission issued a press release stating Volkswagen has successfully returned more than $9.5 billion in compensation to car buyers who purchased the company’s “Clean Diesel” vehicles because of an advertising campaign.
The FTC announced both Volkswagen and Porsche repaid a total of more than $9.5 billion to car buyers. Those who purchased “Clean Diesel” vehicles from either VW or Porsche were given two options: Return the car to the manufacturer in exchange for compensation, or have the car modified to comply with clean-air rules put into place by the EPA.
The report from the FTC indicates that more than 86% of the victims chose to return their vehicles through a buyback or early lease termination.
The FTC filed its Final Status Report with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
“Most important, the FTC orders and related private class settlements provided redress sufficient to compensate consumers fully,” the FTC stated in its report, released July 27.
In 2015, Volkswagen Auto Group admitted to placing secret software and cheat devices in more than 550,000 vehicles. These devices were used in the company’s diesel vehicles, which are among its most popular cars in the world.
Many VW models sport a TDI or Turbocharged Direct Injection, which uses direct fuel injection systems. Many owners report fuel economy is better with TDI models.
However, some of these tested vehicles would have never hit the road if the company would not have installed the cheat devices. After the EPA noticed there was a violation of the Clean Air Act, an investigation ensued. The EPA then found the German car company had intentionally programed cheat devices to help vehicles that emitted up to 40 times the number of nitrogen oxides into the air.