By Rick Kelly
A few months back, we posted a couple of items regarding Volkswagen’s diesel emission test cheating scandal. We opined that by blatantly violating the law, the company’s brand had been severely tarnished, and the Road to Brand Redemption would be exceptionally long and hard.
That ka-boom you may have heard a few days ago, even above the din of “The Brexit,” was another shoe falling on Volkswagen. U.S. government lawyers announced a proposed settlement with the company, totaling $14.7 billion for compensation to owners of the 475,000 emission cheating Volkswagens and Audis sold in this country, for buybacks of the vast majority of them and, essentially, in fines.
The size of that settlement, still subject to federal court approval, would be second only to that reached last year with BP for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, which began at $18.7 billion and grew with additional claims. Until now, the largest class-action settlements against automakers were the $2 billion agreement with GM over faulty ignition switches and $1.4 billion with Toyota over flawed accelerators.