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FILE - In this Oct. 5, 2015, file photo, the VW sign of Germany's Volkswagen car company is displayed at the building of a company's retailer in Berlin. A member of Volkswagen's supervisory board is calling for a quick solution to a legal dispute between the automaker and two suppliers that has forced VW to suspend production of some models at German plants, affecting nearly 28,000 workers. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, File)

A federal judge made it official: Volkswagen will pay nearly $15B after emissions scandal


A federal judge has approved a nearly $15-billion settlement of claims against Volkswagen after it was found cheating emissions tests. It's the largest settlement against an auto manufacturer in U.S. history. 

Last year, Volkswagen admitted that 475,000 VWs and Audis were programmed to cheat emissions tests. The car giant will have to buy back cars (with a hefty bonus) if owners decide to sell them  instead of repair them, which most are expected to do. 

Volkswagen must make payments available within 10 business days from today, according to U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer's order.

In his decision, he said the goal was to get the offending cars off the road as soon as possible. 

But some car owners argue the deal doesn't go far enough, and they want Volkswagen to refund the entire purchase price, instead of a pro-rated price.

The settlement by the numbers

  • $2.7 billion for environmental harm
  • $2 billion to promote zero-emission cars
  • A total of $10 billion in buybacks 

Volkswagen said it set aside just over $18 billion to deal with the scandal. 

Volkswagen's Twitter account seemed ignorant of the ruling.

Eat This: Pizzaghetti (spaghetti stuffed inside pizza)

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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