HUGE PAY-OUT: About 210 000 VW owners have registered to settle with the company under the terms of a court agreement. The automaker could pay-out billions in settlements. Image: AFP / Paul J Richards
Detroit - About 210 000 Volkswagen owners of with 2.0-litre diesel engines that cheat on emissions tests have registered to settle with the company under the terms of a June 2016 court agreement.
The figure was revealed in a federal court motion by class action attorneys seeking final approval of the settlement involving 475 000 owners. It says only 235 have asked to stay out of the settlement and pursue legal action on their own. Another 110 objections to the settlement were filed.
US District Court Judge Charles Breyer has given the $15-billion settlement preliminary approval, with a final decision expected on October 18.
READ: Emissions scandal: Volkswagen reaches $14.7-billion settlement
Terms call for the German carmaker to spend up to $10-bn buying back or repairing Volkswagen and Audi 2.0-liter vehicles, and paying owners another $5100 to $10 000 each.
The motion was filed late Friday (August 26) by Elizabeth Cabraser, the lead attorney in the class-action settlement. It says the number of owners who signed up for settlements, about 44%, was "a noteworthy level of participation in a program whose claims deadline does not occur until September 2018."
Owners have until September 16 2016 to opt out of the settlement.
The Federal Trade Commission, which sued Volkswagen along with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Justice Department, came out in support of the settlement on Friday.
The agency, which had contended that VW deceived buyers through false advertising, says the settlement is fair because it gives owners the value of their cars before the scandal became public last September 18.
Owners also are compensated for other expenses, the agency says.