Volkswagen has closed a deal with US regulators this week for compensating the buyers of the brand’s vehicles who suffered owing to the company’s diesel emissions scandal. The deal which is meant exclusively for the brand’s vehicle owners within US sets aside US$ 14.7 billion for either repairing or buying back the affected vehicles. Its notable, as mentioned before as well, that millions of vehicles sold outside of the US are not covered under this deal. The reports of the settlement were first reported by media houses such as Bloomberg and the New York Times.
This is the largest sum ever in the history of the automobile to have been set aside by a company for settlement in case of a scandal. While not official, its reported that the company will buy back or repair nearly 475,000 polluting vehicles. The customers who get their cars repaired (which will result in a dip in performance) or bought back, will also get cash ranging from $5,100 to $10,000 as an apology amount from the German carmaker and as a compensation for the trouble the owners had to go through. The deal will be filed officially in court later, and all these rumoured details will become official only then.
So while the repairs and the buybacks will cost VW close to US$ 10 billion, the company will also have to set aside a sum of nearly US$ 5 billion for zero-emission R&D. This sum would apparently work towards negating the ill-effects of the emission cheating and undoing the damage caused by the polluting vehicles. Over and above all this, there may be additional lawsuits to settle. Finally, those numbers are only US specific, which means that the company may have to shell out a lot more for the affected customers worldwide.
Would the Indians also get an ‘I’m Sorry’ compensation from the German carmaker like their US counterparts? We really doubt they would knowing the ineffectiveness of the lax Indian regulators. But why shouldn’t they? Have the Indians paid or suffered any less just because they’re from a less powerful country? Or it’s a given for us to be taken for granted? We’d really like to know your thoughts on the topic.