Approximately 482,000 Volkswagen and Audi vehicles powered by the 2.0 TDI engine from the EA189 family and sold in the U.S in the last few years can now be bought back by the company.
This is not all, as Volkswagen has also agreed to offer “substantial compensation” to the owners of said cars, regardless if they agree to sell their cars back or not. Numbers around $5,000 per owner have been reported by the press, but the U.S District Judge in charge of the proceedings issued a gag order for the media on the exact figures and other details.
What is interesting is that approximately 90,000 3.0 TDI vehicles from VW, Audi and Porsche are not being included in the agreement, meaning that their issues will be resolved at a later date.
“The arrangements in the making in the United States will have no legal bearing on proceedings outside of the United States,” a Volkswagen press release mentioned.
“Ongoing investigations by the Department of Justice, Criminal Division, and the State Attorneys General are not prejudiced by these agreements in principle,” the release continued.
In case it wasn't clear by now, this is just the beginning of the greatest crisis in Volkswagen's history, but at least the first step is somewhat in the company's favor. Once each of the affected customers in the U.S. agrees to either sell back his or her car and get the compensation, he or she will no longer be able to take part in a lawsuit against Volkswagen.
That said, VW is not out of the woods yet, since the carmaker is still facing several investigations in other countries, including Germany, not to mention tens if not even hundreds of class-action suits that are yet to reach full speed.
Some analysts estimate that the total Dieselgate cost could be much higher than what Volkswagen has anticipated since they will have to include fines, repair costs, settlements, and now those buy-backs.