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Latest Volkswagen Settlement to Compensate Vermont Consumers, Pad General Fund

"Vermonters don't stand for that," said Attorney General TJ Donovan of Volkswagen's emissions cheating.
Henry Epp
"Vermonters don't stand for that," said Attorney General TJ Donovan of Volkswagen's emissions cheating.

Vermont has secured an additional $6.5 million from Volkswagen and its affiliates Porsche and Audi.

The agreement announced Wednesday is the final state settlement stemming from the car company’s emissions cheating scandal. In 2015, Volkswagen admitted that it had installed software in many diesel-powered vehicles to help cheat emissions tests.

At a press conference on Wednesday in Burlington, Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan said that $2.9 million will go directly to consumers who bought the offending vehicles.

Then, an additional $3.6 million will go to the state’s general fund.

Donovan said that misleading consumers about environmental standards was particularly offensive in Vermont, where many people bought the cars specifically for their supposedly lower emissions.

“Vermonters care about the environment,” he said. “And they speak with their pocketbooks.”

The new round of money will be used to compensate consumers directly, providing up to $1,000 per car for people who bought the vehicles in question.

Vermont has already received a total of $22.9 million in settlements from Volkswagen and its affiliates. The state will use part of that money to fund electric vehicle charging stations.

Have an eligible car?

The most recent settlement money will likely arrive in early July, and eligible consumers will receive a notification letter from the Attorney General’s office.

Consumers will then have 90 days to claim their money from the date they received the letter.

Assistant Attorney General Merideth Chaudoir said the state will work hard to ensure all consumers are compensated.

“We have a [list] of VIN numbers and names and addresses,” Chaudoir said. “If anything gets returned we have a contingency plan to try to track those folks down. So we want to reach as many Vermonters who are eligible as possible and get them their money.”

Though people will likely be eager to collect their settlement money, Christopher Curtis, who leads the Attorney General's Public Protection Division, said the process will take some time.

“We are asking Vermonters to be patient,” he said.

Henry worked for Vermont Public as a reporter from 2017 to 2023.
Ari Snider was the 2018 summer newsroom intern at Vermont Public Radio.
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