The Volkswagen Group of America will pay New Jersey $69 million to settle claims that it sold diesel vehicles that cheated environmental standards. The state says this settlement represents more cash per vehicle than any other state settlement in the scandal to date. The agreement will put an end to the stand-alone complaint, filed in February 2016, accusing the automaker of violating the Clean Air Act and defrauding consumers.
This is one of the last major outstanding diesel legal issues the German automaker faced in the United States. VW has previously agreed to spend more than $750 million to resolve various state environmental and consumer claims. In total, VW has agreed to spend up to $25 billion in the United States to address claims from owners, environmental regulators, states and dealers and offered to buy back about 500,000 polluting U.S. vehicles.
In March, VW agreed to pay $157 million to settle environmental claims from 10 other U.S. states. In 2016, the German automaker reached a $603 million consumer fraud settlement with 44 U.S. states, also excluding New Jersey. The settlement with 10 U.S. states required Volkswagen to offer at least three new electric vehicles in those states by 2020, including two SUVs. VW agreed in December 2016 to offer the vehicles in California in the same time frame.
In April, Volkswagen, which admitted to circumventing the emissions control system in U.S. diesel vehicles for vehicles sold since 2009, was sentenced to three years probation after pleading guilty to three felony counts and paid $4.3 billion in federal penalties. Last month, U.S. and California regulators approved a fix for about 38,000 VW 3.0-liter vehicles with potential excess emissions.