Settlement Background History

October 25, 2016

On October 25, 2016 the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California approved the U.S. EPA and California first partial consent decree with Volkswagen and Audi to settle allegations of installing "defeat devices" on 2.0 liter diesel vehicles sold or leased in the U.S. These defeat devices detected when the vehicle was being tested and switched on or increased operability of emission control equipment.  Under normal driving conditions the emission control equipment was turned off or rendered less effective, allowing the emissions of nitrogen oxide (NOx) to exceed up to 40 times the emission standard.  Nearly 500,000 of the 2.0 liter diesel vehicles were sold or leased in the United States, including 3,630 in Maine between 2008 and 2015.

December 20, 2016

On December 20, 2016 the Department of Justice for the U.S. EPA filed the second partial consent decree for the 3.0 liter diesel vehicles also manufactured by VW, Audi and Porsche (collectively VW) that also had emission control defeat devices.

The first partial consent decree establishes an environmental mitigation trust (Trust) to achieve mitigation of excess NOx emissions resulting from use of the emissions control defeat devices on the VW light-duty diesel vehicles. Of the $2.7 billion allocated to the states for mitigation of excess NOx emissions via the first partial consent decree, the Mitigation Trust Agreement has allocated Maine $20,256,436 based on the 2.0 liter diesel vehicles registered in Maine. From the second partial consent decree, an additional $796,628 is allocated to Maine based on the number of 3.0 liter diesel vehicles registered in Maine.

EPA's webpage explains the details of the violations, the settlements, and the mitigation trust fund program. It also includes links to additional settlement resources and documents.

Due to the level of interest in the VW Settlement, the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, created a webpage to notify interested members of the public, beneficiaries, and press of important news and information about court proceedings.