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Attorney General Becerra Announces Approval of $66M for California in Settlement with Volkswagen

Thursday, May 11, 2017
Contact: (415) 703-5837, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

SACRAMENTO – This morning, Judge Charles Breyer of the United States District Court for Northern District of California approved a $250 million settlement with Volkswagen over its “defeat device” software to bypass emissions controls in its 3.0 liter diesel vehicles. The settlement was negotiated by attorneys and technical experts from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Justice, California Air Resources Board (CARB), and California Attorney General's Office.

California will receive $66 million from this settlement among the United States, California, and Volkswagen. Of this amount, $41 million will go to air quality mitigation projects selected by CARB and $25 million will fund CARB programs that help replace polluting cars with zero emission vehicles. Volkswagen is also required to buy back or modify 85 percent of its polluting vehicles in California and provide fair compensation to owners.

“There is no excuse for what those at Volkswagen did,” said Attorney General Xavier Becerra. “They lied to consumers and environmental regulators. They cheated on emissions tests. They did harm to our environment. They put profits before people, and that’s inexcusable. Today's action should serve as further warning to wrongdoers who believe they can run and hide – we will hold you accountable." 

“I want to thank Senior Assistant Attorney General Nicklas Akers, Supervising Deputy Attorney General Judith Fiorentini, Deputy Attorneys General Jon Worm and Laurel Carnes, and their colleagues in our Consumer Law, Environment, and Natural Resources Law Sections, for their efforts to protect California's consumers and environment in this case,” added Attorney General Becerra.

In addition to today’s settlement, California has previously reached two settlements with Volkswagen: one for a landmark $14.7 billion in environmental mitigation and consumer relief related to Volkswagen's inclusion of defeat devices in its 2.0 liter vehicles, and the other for $86 million in civil penalties.  

The settlement approved today is documented in two partial consent decrees, one among the United States, California and Volkswagen, and the other between California and Volkswagen. Both are attached to the online version of this news release at www.oag.ca.gov/news.

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