Vermont, VW owners to get $6.5M in diesel deception case

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) A settlement between the state and the German automotive company Volkswagen means some Vermonters could be cashing in.

At a press conference Wednesday, Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan announced a settlement with VW. The German automaker must pay $6.5 million to the state for deceptive marketing practices.

"This concludes the state of Vermont efforts holding Volkswagen and these other entities accountable," said Donovan, D-Vt. Attorney General.

The car manufacturer billed several of its models to consumers as "clean diesel" but that wasn't true. VW cheated the system so that the cars would score better on emissions tests than they actually performed.

As a result, Vermont will receive $6.5 million dollars. Of that, $3.6 million will go to the general fund and $2.9 million will go to consumers. Those who bought or leased certain Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche vehicles from the model years 2009-2016 are eligible for up to $1,000 each.

"Not only for misleading Vermont consumers but for the environmental harm they caused," Donovan said.

This is an additional settlement against VW; the first came a few years ago. That $20 million settlement was for false environmental claims. The attorney general's office says the settlement took so long because the state went it alone to get the best deal for Vermonters.

"We ended up doing twice what we would have gotten had we settled in the multistate, so it was well worth our time to stand up for our consumer protection laws," Assistant Attorney General Meredith Chaudoir said.

A letter and claim form will be sent directly to those who are eligible in the next 30 days. After that, those who apply will have 90 days to send the form back in to claim the money. Money that is not claimed will go to the general fund. Click here for more details from the Vermont attorney general's office.