Volkswagen to pay $175 million to U.S. lawyers suing over emissions

Fri Oct 14, 2016 7:51pm EDT
 
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By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE: Quote), in another step to move past its costly diesel emissions cheating scandal, has agreed to pay $175 million to U.S. lawyers suing the German automaker on behalf of the owners of 475,000 polluting vehicles, two people briefed on the agreement said on Friday.

In August, the lawyers in the class action litigation sought up to $332.5 million in fees and costs for their work in a $10 billion settlement that gives U.S. owners of 2.0 liter polluting cars the ability to sell back their vehicles to Volkswagen (VW).

The latest deal with the lawyers means VW now has agreed to spend up to $16.7 billion to compensate U.S. owners and address claims from states, federal regulators and dealers arising from the "Dieselgate" scandal.

The amount to be paid out to lawyers was first reported by Reuters on Friday.

The resolution of legal fees clears another hurdle as the world's No. 2 automaker looks to resolve all of the outstanding aspects of a scandal that disrupted its global business, hurt its reputation and led to the ouster of its chief executive officer last year.

VW in September 2015 admitted using sophisticated secret software in its cars to cheat exhaust emissions tests, with millions of vehicles worldwide affected. The cheating allowed VW's U.S. vehicles sold since 2009 to emit up to 40 times legally allowable pollution levels.

The $175 million includes attorneys' fees and other costs, according to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Lawyers for the owners of polluting vehicles and a spokeswoman for Volkswagen declined to comment.   Continued...

 
A VW sign is seen outside a Volkswagen dealership in London, Britain, November 5, 2015.  REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett/File photo