Volkswagen Settlement

Overview of the VW Settlement

Volkswagen AG and certain of its North American subsidiaries (collectively "VW") have entered into a multi-billion dollar settlement with the federal government for violations of the Clean Air Act. VW publicly admitted to installing "defeat devices" in certain diesel vehicles.  The "defeat devices" were software installed which caused the vehicles to operate differently during emission testing compared to normal operation, circumventing federal vehicle emissions standards. Around 590,000 vehicles of model years between 2009 and 2016 containing 2.0 or 3.0-liter diesel engines were affected. A First Partial Consent Decree and a Second Partial Consent Decree describe the details of the settlement. The settlement funds are to be used as a remedy to mitigate the environmental impacts from VW's actions.  The remedy consists of three programs,

  1. A vehicle recall and repair program - $10 billion to buy back or repair at least 85 percent of the unlawful vehicles.
  2. ZEV Fund - $2 billion to support the use of zero emissions technology such as battery electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and fuel cell vehicles and charging infrastructure over the next 10 years.
  3. An Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund - $2.7 billion to be dispersed to the states to fund projects to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions as mitigation for the unlawful emissions.

Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund

States may use the trust fund for the following categories of projects, as defined by the settlement:

  1. Class 8 Local Freight Trucks and Port Drayage Trucks (Eligible Large Trucks)
  2. Class 4-8 School Bus, Shuttle Bus, or Transit Bus (Eligible Buses)
  3. Railroad Freight Switchers
  4. Ferries/Tugs
  5. Ocean Going Vessels (OGV) Shorepower
  6. Class 4-7 Local Freight Trucks (Eligible Medium Trucks)
  7. Airport Ground Support Equipment
  8. Forklifts and Port Cargo Handling Equipment
  9. Light Duty Zero Emission Vehicle Supply Equipment
  10. Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) Option

The Trust Fund is overseen by a Trustee. On a future date to be established by the Trustee, States must file for beneficiary status. States must also submit to the Trustee a mitigation plan that describes how they intend to use their allocated funds.

Public Input

Illinois EPA will be seeking input in development of the mitigation plan for Illinois.  As additional information and documents are available and opportunities for public input and comment are published, this website will be updated.  For further information on the VW Settlement contact:

Brad Frost
Office of Community Relations
217/782-7027
brad.frost@illinois.gov

Useful Links

U.S. EPA’s Volkswagen Clean Air Act Civil Settlement:

https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/volkswagen-clean-air-act-civil-settlement