Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Issues Statement on Court Approval of Landmark $14.7 Billion Settlement with Volkswagen

Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

LOS ANGELES - Attorney General Kamala D. Harris issued the following statement on the U.S. District Court’s approval of the $14.7 billion settlement with Volkswagen over its “defeat device” software to bypass emissions controls in its 2.0 liter diesel vehicles:

“Curbing emissions is vital to protecting our planet for future generations and the deceit Volkswagen practiced in pursuit of profit is unconscionable.  This agreement holds the company accountable for violating California and federal environmental protection laws and requires major investments in our environment and zero emission technology, including over a billion dollars for California alone.”

Attorney General Harris and the California Air Resources Board negotiated the unprecedented settlement alongside the U.S. government on behalf of the state of California and were parties to the settlement along with the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

As part of the agreement, approved today, Volkswagen will spend approximately $10 billion to buy back or modify vehicles on which “defeat devices” were installed, as well as pay $2.7 billion into a trust to support environmental programs and reduce emissions and an additional $2 billion on investments and promotion of zero emissions vehicles.

In addition to providing consumer relief funding, California will receive $1.18 billion, representing more than one-quarter of the funding VW must provide for environmental projects in states injured by the company's conduct and investments it must make in zero emission technology.

Attorney General Harris also secured an additional $86 million in civil penalties as part of a second partial settlement over the company’s use of “defeat devices” to evade emissions testing in its diesel vehicles. Of the $86 million in penalties, the Attorney General will direct $10 million in grants to local government agencies or academic institutions to research and develop technology to detect “defeat devices” and better assess on-road emissions, as well as to monitor, model, and mitigate the environmental and public health impacts of vehicle emissions, especially on children and other vulnerable populations. The Attorney General can still seek further injunctive relief and civil penalties on behalf of the California Air Resources Board.

The consent decree is attached to the online version of this news release at

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PDF icon Order Approving Consent Decree.pdf191.88 KB