Volkswagen reaches deal in emissions scandal

Published: Apr. 21, 2016 at 6:11 PM CDT
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The car company that admitted to rigging its vehicles to bypass air laws now pays the consequences. Volkswagen agrees to buy the cars back, or owners can have their cars repaired for free.

David Mitchell says his 2013 Passat TDI gets great gas mileage with so-called clean diesel.

"Getting close to 50 miles to the gallon on the highway. 35-40 in town," he said.

His car ... along with more than a half a million Volkswagen vehicles ... has software with a defeat device. It senses an inspection and turns on emission controls. The rigged controls are designed to hide the fact some models blow through emissions limits up to 30 times.

"You are doing your part to help and all that is just gone," said Mitchell.

"It was fraud on the consumer at the time of purchase. It's not fraud in it's performance," said Summer Masterson-Goethals, Consumer Attorney.

Consumer attorneys say this case is far from over. It's recommended drivers, join one of the several class action lawsuits.

The EPA only tests about 15 percent of new models. Manufacturers "self-certify" and submit their data to the EPA.

"There really isn't as much protection out there for consumers as they think that there should be or would be. Sometimes that's just a cost/benefit analysis that the government and car dealers have to finagle," said Masterson-Goethals.

"The car is tainted ... whether it's fixed or not fixed. One of the things that sells the car is better gas mileage. So if it's getting down to 20-30 miles per gallon. Even if the car is fixed, it still isn't worth as much as it would have been otherwise," said Mitchell.

Details of the settlement are still being negotiated ... including the amount of fines and compensation. Federal officials say V-W's court agreement does not end the on-going criminal investigation.