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Lawyers Seek $26 Million in 15 Months Long Volkswagen US Fuel Economy Discussions

Lawyers for owners of 98,000 Volkswagen U.S. vehicles that had fuel economy marks that overstated efficiency will ask a U.S. judge for $26 million in attorney’s fees and costs, court docket shows.

On Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency said the largest German auto manufacturer should abandon greenhouse gas emissions credits and decrease the fuel economy rankings on those vehicles after it said automobile software overstated real-world efficiency.

Volkswagen stated Friday it had agreed to a $96.5 million court settlement to compensate 98,000 consumers. People who still own the autos are eligible for lump-sum payments starting from $518.40 to $2,332.80 per vehicle.

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

The EPA stated Volkswagen’s software lowered the fuel economy score on 98,000 vehicles by nearly one mile per gallon or 3.5%.

The software was on approximately 1 million 2013-2017 model year Audi, Bentley, Porsche, and Volkswagen vehicles, the company admitted It caused the transmission to shift gears in a manner that typically optimizes fuel economy and greenhouse gas release in the course of the EPA-prescribed emissions test; however, not under regular driving circumstances, the agency stated.

The vehicles getting lower rankings – and eligible for compensation – including versions of the Audi A8, Bentley Continental GT, Porsche Cayenne, and VW Touareg. The court settlement coats not all of the five model years.

The EPA said Volkswagen lessened greenhouse gas emissions by about 220,000 metric tons and it would forfeit EPA credits and credit in the federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy.

The settlement came after 15 months of discussions.

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