Volkswagen is expected to offer generous compensation packages for the owners affected by its diesel scandal.
Although the German automaker has not determined whether vehicle owners will receive cash, car buy-backs, repairs or replacement vehicles, Kenneth Feinberg, the attorney VW hired to oversee the claims process, believes an overwhelming majority will accept the eventual compensation offer. Feinberg, who also was the head of the claims fund for GM’s ignition switch recall, told Reuters that his hands are still tied as long as Volkswagen “and the authorities have not overcome their differences.”
Volkswagen, however, is granting Feinberg full authority to decide on the compensation. His previous experience with compensation funds had an over 90-percent acceptance rate, with his handling of the fund for the victims of 9/11 terrorist attacks reaching 97 percent.
“It is a purely business transaction, less emotional,” said Feinberg. “I see that from emails I get from vehicle owners, who say things like: ‘Mr. Feinberg, I know I haven’t lost a relative, I just want to be treated fairly.’ They are all quite reasonable,” he said.
Regulators in the U.S. rejected Volkswagen’s original plan to fix its diesel engines last month, raising concerns that the automaker may have to buy back some of the vehicles. In the third quarter of 2015, Volkswagen set aside $7.5 billion to cover repair costs for affected vehicles worldwide.
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