Senators called for vehicle buy-backs, introduced legislation to require penalties from automakers that circumvent emissions requirements to be used for environmental restoration

Washington (June 28, 2016) – Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) today praised the settlement announced between Volkswagen (VW), the federal government and vehicle owners that has VW agreeing to pay up to $14.7 billion for illegally evading auto-emission rules. Owners of some impacted VW models will have the right to choose between having their vehicles fixed to meet emissions standards or a full buy-back option at pre-scandal blue book value, while damages suffered by owners of other models are not covered in the settlement announced today.

Below is a joint statement from Senators Markey and Blumenthal, members of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee:

“This settlement provides a measure of accountability for a portion of the vehicle owners who were cheated by VW’s deception and the environment that was polluted by VW’s unclean diesel vehicles. Providing these owners with the choice to either have their vehicles repaired or re-purchased is an important step in making them whole for the damages and inconveniences caused by VW’s deception.


“While this settlement is an historic victory for some VW vehicle owners, the automaker must ensure that owners of vehicles not covered by today’s settlement receive the same compensation options as those announced today. And we continue to call on the Department of Justice to vigorously pursue its criminal investigation against VW executives who knowingly and intentionally deceived regulators. All the facts point to criminal culpability, and officials should be held accountable as appropriate.”

In February, Senators Markey and Blumenthal and Reps. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) and Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) introduced the Compensating Losses to the Environment from Automobiles with Noxious Undisclosed Pollution (CLEAN-UP) Act, legislation that would deny Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) credits to any auto manufacturer that circumvents emissions control requirements and would use monies collected from automakers that violate the law to be made available to programs that restore and improve air quality. The Senators also urged VW to ensure that owners of VW vehicles containing emission defeat devices are offered multiple options for adequate compensation for the damages and inconveniences incurred on them by the company’s deception.