The Volkswagen Dieselgate Apology Tour isn't done yet, but its most recent settlement brings the automaker one step closer to putting this whole thing behind it.
Volkswagen settled environmental claims from 10 different US states to the tune of $157.45 million, Reuters reports. The states in question include Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Washington and New York, and the settlement also addresses consumer claims alongside state-level ones.
Not every state will receive the same amount of money. New York picks up $32.5 million, while Massachusetts will make do with $20 million. It's the largest-ever environmental fine for either state. These figures are a fair bit lower than some states were asking for -- Washington, for example, hoped to fine Volkswagen to the tune of $176 million, which is more than all 10 states will end up receiving, combined.
It doesn't stop with money. As part of the settlement, Volkswagen also agreed to sell at least three new electric vehicles in all 10 states by 2020, two of which will be SUVs. Reuters notes that Volkswagen already agreed to do the same in California, in the same time frame, so it's not necessarily a new development for the automaker.
Volkswagen has been doing its best to put Dieselgate behind it. Earlier in March, the automaker pleaded guilty to charges including fraud, obstruction of justice and falsifying documents. Last year, it agreed to a $15 billion settlement with the feds that includes buying back dirty diesels if they cannot be fixed to emit the legal amount of pollutants.
It also promised to spend $5 billion on environmental remediation. This includes spending $2.7 billion on projects around the country determined to mitigate nitrogen-oxide emissions. Another $2 billion will go toward building out EV infrastructure and promoting education that supports zero-emissions vehicles.
VW ended up in this mess because it figured it could cheat its way through increasingly complicated emissions regulations. Special software allowed its diesel vehicles to pass emissions tests, only to emit well in excess of legal limits once the cars left the lab and hit the road.
Volkswagen's full statement regarding the 10-state settlement is below:
Volkswagen AG and Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (together, Volkswagen) announced today that they have reached an agreement with the attorneys general of 10 U.S. states to resolve environmental claims related to the diesel matter in the United States, as well as certain consumer claims that were not included in Volkswagen's prior multi-state agreement.
Volkswagen has agreed to pay approximately $157.45 million, to be allocated among the participating states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.
The agreement avoids further prolonged and costly litigation as Volkswagen continues to work to earn back the trust of its customers, regulators and the public.