Volkswagen's Dieselgate bill is growing by leaps and bounds. Today alone, reports indicate that total has soared by more than $2.6 billion due to the cost of fines, repairs, buybacks, and compensation to owners of the company's less-than-clean diesels. One of Volkswagen's chief suppliers, Bosch, has also promised to shell out some $300 million to U.S. diesel owners.
3.0-liter settlement nears
Yesterday, we reported on the rumor that Volkswagen had agreed to pay $200 million to clean up the environmental damage caused by 80,000 illegally equipped 3.0-liter Audi, Porsche, and VW diesels. Today, the specifics of that deal were confirmed, and as expected, that Volkswagen will:
- Buy back roughly 20,000 Audi A7 and Volkswagen Touareg 3.0-liter diesel crossovers from the 2009-2012 model years
- Repair the remaining 60,000-ish Audi, Porsche, and VW models affected by the 3.0-liter portion of the Dieselgate scandal
- Provide substantial compensation to owners of all 80,000 vehicles
- Pay a hefty fee for environmental remediation
An administrator at the Environmental Protection Agency estimates the total cost of the package to be $1 billion. Exact figures will be released at a later date.
In a related case in California, Volkswagen has agreed to add at least three new electrified vehicles to its lineup by the year 2020, including one SUV. Under the terms of the agreement, the company will be required to sell at least 5,000 of those vehicles each year. The automaker will also fork over $25 million in fines to the California Air Resources Board.
Today, we also learned that in Canada, Volkswagen plans to pony up C$2.1 billion ($1.6 billion U.S.), which will be used to compensate owners of 105,000 diesels and to fix or buy back those vehicles.
The automaker will also pay the Canadian government a C$15 million ($11.2 million U.S.) in fines and fees.
Combined with the settlements that Volkswagen has reached here in the States, that brings the company's tab in North America to well over $18 billion--and of course, that sum doesn't include Volkswagen's payouts in other countries, where most of the 11 million vehicles affected by Dieselgate are registered.
In other words, our initial estimate of a $25 billion pricetag for the fiasco may have been a bit conservative.
Meanwhile, German supplier Bosch--which has been heavily implicated in the Dieselgate scandal--has agreed to pay $300 million to settle lawsuits filed by U.S. owners of Volkswagen diesels. Those suits claim that Bosch developed the defeat device that allows Volkswagen's "clean diesels" to cheat on emissions tests.
While $300 million might sound pricey, it's significantly less than the 650 million euros ($674 million) that the company had initially planned to spend on the scandal.
That said, other investigations of Bosch, both here and in Germany, will continue, so the company's pricetag could go far higher.
Note: for purposes of clarity, "Volkswagen" has been used to refer to the Volkswagen Group parent company, while "VW" has been used to refer to the company's popular mass-market brand of automobiles.