In September 2015 Volkswagen (VW) publicly admitted to secretly and deliberately installing “defeat devices” – software designed to cheat emissions tests and deceive federal and state regulators. It affected nearly 500,000 VW and Audi branded 2.0-liter diesel vehicles and 83,000 3.0-liter diesel vehicles sold to American consumers. In Connecticut 11,911 2.0 liter vehicles were affected.
On October 25, 2016, the first partial decree (Appendix C and D below) was approved that addresses VW’s illegal altering to appear to meet federal and California emissions standards of the 2.0L diesel vehicles for model years 2009-2015. The intent of the funds is to achieve NOx reductions to offset the excess NOx created by the subject VW vehicles.
On December 20, 2016, an additional partial settlement was approved addressing the 3.0L diesel VW, Audi, and Porsche vehicles. This will add funding to the mitigation trust with CT to receive an additional $4.1 million.
You can find all pertinent information on the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection website: www.ct.gov/deep/vw.
Summary of 2.0L Settlement (Appendix C and D)
- Direct compensation of VW owners
- $10.033 billion for compensation, vehicle buyback and/or repairs
- Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) investment commitment from VW
- $2 billion over and above any amount VW planned to spend on such technology
- Allocations: $800 thousand for CA; $1.2 billion for the rest of the nation
- Four “30 month” plans to spend down this amount
- Projects that require large electric charging opportunities
- Submit proposals at www.electrifyamerica.com
- Environmental Mitigation Trust
- $2.7 billion to support environmental programs over 10 years to reduce NOx by the amount equal to or greater than caused by VW cars
- Allocations: at least 70% to on-road heavy dusty vehicles, non-road equipment, commerical marine vessels, locomotives, diesel emission reduction act (DERA) option; up to 15% for the ZEV supply equipment; up to 15% for administrative expenditures. Easy breakdown of the details can be found in the presentation on Connecticut’s proposed draft state mitigation plan (pdf).
- A trust account will be administered by a trustee
- UPDATE: On March 20, 2017 Wilmington Trust was announced trustee.
- States must register as beneficiaries of the trust to access funds
- Allocation for CT is about $51.6 million (+$4.1 million from the second partial settlement)
- CT must draft and submit a Beneficiary Mitigation Plan – CT’s Draft Plan (pdf)
- Environmental benefits would include a potential reduction in NOx and greenhouse gas emissions
- Energy and economic benefits include increased vehicle and equipment sales, support for local businesses, transportation energy diversification, reduction in operation, fuel, and maintenance cost for vehicle and equipment, increased job opportunities for mechanics, electricians, and construction.