In January of 2016, the United States and the State of California filed a lawsuit against Volkswagen (VW), claiming that it had violated the Clean Air Act. VW sold approximately 500,000 2.0 liter diesel engine vehicles in the United States equipped with “defeat devices” in the form of computer software that allowed vehicles to perform correctly during emissions tests, but in actuality emitted up to 40 times the legal limit of nitrogen oxides (NOx) under normal operating conditions.
On June 28, 2016, the United States lodged a partial settlement with the U.S. District Court in San Francisco and on October 25, 2016, the Court granted final approval of the settlement.
The settlement is considered partial because it only addresses what VW must do regarding the affected 2.0 liter cars on the road and the pollution from these vehicles. Actions related to the affected 3.0 liter vehicles are still ongoing.
Under the partial settlement, VW is required to do three main things:
Eligible Mitigation Actions (See Appendix D-2 of the Partial Consent Decree for more information):
- Class 8 Local Freight Trucks and Port Drayage Trucks (Eligible Large Trucks)
- Class 4-8 School Bus, Shuttle Bus, or Transit Bus (Eligible Buses)
- Railroad Freight Switchers
- Ocean Going Vessels (OGV) Shorepower
- Class 4-7 Local Freight Trucks (Eligible Medium Trucks)
- Airport Ground Support Equipment
- Forklifts and Port Cargo Handling Equipment
- Light Duty Zero Emission Vehicle Supply Equipment (up to 15% of total state allocation)
- Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA)-eligible project matching funds