Car Industry

Almost two-thirds of VW diesel owners have already signed up for settlement

That's impressive, considering the whole settlement isn't even set in stone yet.

Sean Gallup, Getty Images

Much like us, it appears that owners just want this whole thing to be over and done with as quickly as possible.

John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images

The public seemed to be on board with Volkswagen's $15 billion settlement for 2.0-liter diesel owners -- but until the settlement's website started sign-ups, it was conjecture. Now, it's clear that owners are more than happy to get in on the settlement.

More than 311,000 of the 475,000 eligible vehicles are already registered to receive settlement benefits, according to a memorandum filed by the law firm representing the plaintiffs (VW owners). That's about 65 percent of 'em, which is impressive, considering the settlement must still receive final approval from the courts.

Provided a fix is approved, owners will have three options of recourse. First, they can accept a buyback, using the pre-Dieselgate market value for their car, as well as additional cash on top. Second, they can get the car fixed and also receive that additional cash. Third, owners can opt out, receiving no money but retaining their vehicles as-is. If there's no approved fix, only two options will remain -- sell it back or keep it.

Volkswagen's massive settlement includes a $4.7 billion payout for environmental impact. Of that payment, $2.7 billion will go towards funding projects around the country that aim to mitigate all the extra nitrogen oxides that dirty VW diesels spilled into the atmosphere. The remaining $2 billion will be used to promote zero-emissions technologies, including infrastructure investments.

VW ended up in hot water back in 2015, when it admitted to willfully deceiving emissions tests around the world. Its 2.0-liter TDI diesel engines contained software that could curtail emissions specifically in lab testing environments. Once the cars hit the road, they polluted well over legal limits.

(Hat tip to Car & Driver!)