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Lawyers seek $26 million in Volkswagen US fuel economy settlement

Reuters / Share:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Lawyers for owners of 98,000 Volkswagen AG US vehicles that had fuel economy labels that overstated efficiency will ask a US judge for $26 million in attorney’s fees and costs, court documents show.

On Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency said the largest German automaker must forfeit greenhouse gas emissions credits and lower the fuel economy ratings on those vehicles after it said vehicle software overstated real-world performance.

Volkswagen said on Friday it had agreed to a $96.5 million court settlement to reimburse 98,000 consumers. People who still own the vehicles are eligible for lump-sum payments ranging from $518.40 to $2,332.80 per vehicle.

The $26 million request, which involves $23.9 million in fees and $2.1 million in expenses, is separate from the $96.5 million, court filings show, while any uncollected consumer funds will be directed to “environmental remediation efforts.”

The settlement came after 15 months of negotiations.

The EPA said Volkswagen’s software lowered the fuel economy rating on 98,000 vehicles by about one mile per gallon, or 3.5 percent.

The software was on about 1 million 2013-2017 model year Audi, Bentley, Porsche and Volkswagen vehicles, the agency said. It caused the transmission to shift gears in a manner that sometimes optimizes fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions during the EPA-prescribed emissions test, but not under normal driving conditions, the agency said.

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