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2,800 Montanans Eligible for Massive Volkswagen Settlement

Montana consumers and the state government will get millions from a legal settlement with Volkswagen. (mootcreative/morguefile)
Montana consumers and the state government will get millions from a legal settlement with Volkswagen. (mootcreative/morguefile)
July 8, 2016

HELENA, Mont. - About 2,800 Montanans who drive certain diesel cars made by Volkswagen and Audi are eligible for cash payments and more, part of a massive multi-state settlement between automaker Volkswagen, the U.S. Department of Justice and the states.

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox said he expects the settlement to be approved by the federal district court in California in the coming weeks. Then, VW will send letters to all the car owners concerned. At a minimum, Fox said, all owners will receive $5,100 as part of the VW settlement.

"They have agreed to either buy back the vehicle if it is owned by the consumer or they will fix the problem, in addition to the cash payment," he said.

The cars affected, sold from 2009 to 2015, had a device installed that made them pass emissions tests even as they produced illegal, harmful levels of pollution.

People with a lease can terminate early and get about $2,500 in cash. Those who sold their cars before Sept. 18, 2015, also can get a cash payment. Fox advised people to call the Department of Justice's Office of Consumer Protection if they have further questions - but first, check the new website dedicated to the settlement.

"That website is VWcourtsettlement.com," Fox said. "You can enter the VIN number of your vehicle and, I think, the year and model, and that website will tell you whether your vehicle is covered."

Even Montanans who don't drive a VW stand to benefit from the settlement, because the state is set to receive $2 million in consumer protection fines and another $11.6 million to fund air pollution mitigation projects.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - MT