Attorneys seek $ 26 million dollars in Volkswagen's US fuel economy settlement

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Attorneys for Owners of 98,000 Volkswagen AG ( VOWG_p.DE ) US vehicles with fuel economy labels that exaggerated efficiency will ask a US judge for $ 26 million in attorney fees and costs, court documents show.

A Volkswagen logo is seen at Serramonte Volkswagen in Colma, California, USA, October 3, 2017. REUTERS / Stephen Lam

On Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency said the largest German carmaker must lose greenhouse gas emissions credits and lower its fuel economy ratings on these the vehicles after saying that the vehicle's software exaggerated performance in the real world.

On Friday, Volkswagen said it had agreed to a $ 96.5 million court settlement to reimburse 98,000 consumers. People who still own the vehicles are eligible for one-time payments of $ 518.40 to $ 2332.80 per vehicle.

The $ 26 million request, involving $ 23.9 million in fees and $ 2.1 million in expenses, is separate from $ 96.5 million, court filings show, while any uncollected consumer funds will be directed toward "environmental cleanup work" . "

settlement came after 15 months of negotiations.

EPA said that Volkswagen's software lowered its fuel economy rating of 98,000 vehicles by about a mile per gallon, or 3.5%.

The software was around 1 million 2013-2017 model year Audi, Bentley, Porsche and Volkswagen cars, the agency said. It caused the transmission to shift gears in a way that sometimes optimizes fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions during the EPA-prescribed emissions test, but not under normal driving conditions, the agency says.

The lower-rated vehicles – and eligible for compensation – include versions of the Audi A8, Bentley Continental GT, Porsche Cayenne and VW Touareg. Not all five model years are covered by the court settlement.

EPA said that Volkswagen underestimated greenhouse gas emissions by about 220,000 tonnes, and that it would lose EPA credits and credits in the federal average fuel economy program.

The problem was discovered during an investigation by the EPA and the California Air Resources Board on excess diesel emissions in hundreds of thousands of US vehicles.

The German carmaker admitted using illegal software to cheat US pollution tests in 2015, triggering a global backlash against diesel cars that have so far cost € 30 billion ($ 33 ​​billion) in fines, fines and repurchase costs. In May, it allocated a further EUR 5.5 billion in contingent liabilities.

Attorneys sued VW and Robert Bosch GmbH [ROBG.UL] in the United States over the diesel emissions scandal previously received $ 352 million in fees and costs.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Peter Cooney

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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