Porsche to resolve fuel economy claims on US vehicles with $80 mln

According to court filings, Volkswagen AG (VOWG p.DE) and its Porsche AG business have agreed to a $80 million class-action settlement to resolve charges that it manipulated emissions and fuel efficiency statistics on 500,000 Porsche vehicles in the United States.

A federal court must approve the settlement, which was filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. It covers Porsche automobiles from 2005 through 2020 model years after owners accused the company of physically modifying test vehicles, causing emissions and fuel efficiency figures to be skewed.

Car owners who qualify will get rewards ranging from $250 to $1,109 per vehicle.

In a statement, Porsche confirmed the settlement but stated that it had not yet been finalized “The charges in these proceedings have not been admitted. The deal brings the matter to a close. Only automobiles sold in the United States are included in the comparison.”

Volkswagen’s automobiles have been under increased scrutiny after the German carmaker revealed in 2015 that it had employed sophisticated software to dodge pollution rules in over 11 million diesel vehicles across the world.

VW paid more than $20 billion to resolve criminal and civil lawsuits brought against them in the United States as a result of the cheating scandal. In 2017, the carmaker admitted to fraud, obstruction of justice, and making false representations.

Porsche‘s lawyers claimed that the company tampered with the hardware – gears connecting the drive shaft and rear axle – and the software of testing cars. The test vehicles produced fewer emissions and used less gasoline than the production vehicles that people purchased or leased.

According to the settlement filings, testing revealed that fuel efficiency was 1-2 miles per gallon lower than stated on car labels.

Volkswagen will also pay $250 to Porsche owners whose vehicles with the “Sport+” driving option violated pollution limits while in that mode. When they execute emissions-compliant repair software upgrades that lower vehicle emissions, they will be paid.

According to the complaint, a Porsche whistleblower revealed at least one suspected defeat device in select gasoline vehicles using an internal reporting system, prompting Porsche to submit the findings to German and US regulators.

According to the lawsuit, Porsche management commissioned a systematic investigation in late 2015 that quickly indicated Porsche’s gas fleet was breaching emissions test requirements, but this information was not promptly submitted to US regulators.


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