The owners and leaseholders of some 500,000 Volkswagen and
Audi vehicles across the country will soon be receiving their share of the
settlement in the most expensive consumer-fraud case in U.S. history. State
governments also will receivelarge settlement checksfrom the $15 billion payout by the
German automaker for its fraudulent “Clean Diesel” advertising campaign.
Here is the breakdown of the payout to Rhode Island and
local Volkswagen\Audi owners duped by the emission-rigging scandal.
$13.5 milliongoes into a state trust that will be
spent on environmental projects. A court-appointed trustee will oversee the
trust’s payments. The structure and objective of the trust is the same as the
$4.6 million payment Rhode Island received in a 2007 settlement with American
Electric Power (AEP). The power company paid $75 million to eight states for
violating clean-air standards from AEP’s 16 coal-fired power plants.
Over the course of several years, the Rhode Island payout
from AEP contributed to new wind turbines at state beaches, solar panels at the
Rhode Island Public Transit Authority, and the replacement of the broken wind
turbine at Portsmouth High School.
$3.2 millionof the Volkswagen settlement goes into
the Rhode Island general fund, which means it will be spent on day-to-day
government expenditures. The state received $1,000 for each locally owned
Volkswagen and Audi with the illegal emissions system, minus administrative
costs and court fees.
and Audi vehicle owners in Rhode Island will receive between $5,100 and $10,000
in restitution based on the make of the car. Owners also can opt to have
Volkswagen buy back the vehicle or the can keep their car and have the exhaust
system modified to meet emission standards. If so, the new emission system
receives an extended warranty.
The settlement also paid Connecticut $16 million for its
general fund and $51 million for environmental programs. Massachusetts received
$70 million for environmental programs and $20 million for its general fund.
As part of another nationwide vehicle settlement, Rhode
Island will receive $654,000 from automakers Hyundai and Kia for
misrepresenting mileage and fuel-economy claims on model year 2011, 2012 and
2013 vehicles. The South Korean automaker agreed to pay $41 million to 33
states for overstating vehicle mileage.