VW Group To Settle Inflated Fuel Economy Data Lawsuit

To close out last week, Volkswagen Group of America said it has reached an agreement with several thousand US customers regarding allegations of inflated fuel economy data on roughly 98,000 gas-powered vehicles in four of its brands. The brands in question are Audi, Bentley, Porsche, and, of course, Volkswagen. ]

According to the EPA, the agency had opened an investigation of the company’s gasoline-powered engines after the conclusion of the VW 2015 diesel scandal.  At the time, testing by the California Air Resources Board and the EPA both found the vehicles’ transmission software caused certain models to shift differently during government testing in order to post higher fuel economy than what would have been accurate in a real world setting.  

In a simple response to this potential resolution, Volkswagen Group of America spokesperson Pietro Zollino stated, “Volkswagen is committed to providing customers with transparent fuel economy data for our vehicles, in line with US labeling requirements.”

This new agreement involves resolving dissatisfaction over alleged misinformation about vehicle fuel economy on approximately 3.5 percent of the brand’s entire fleet sold (or leased) under the VW Group brand, in the United States between 2013 and 2017.  According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the fuel economy for these vehicles was incorrectly listed and will be restated in a way that more accurately reflects this discrepancy of one mile per gallon when rounded to the nearest gallon using the US-specific “Monroney” label requirement. 

While the issue does only reflect a small percentage of the total number of vehicles on the market during those sales years, most of the vehicles affected by the inflated fuel economy numbers were Audi, Bentley, and Porsche models between 2013 and 2015, as well as the Audi A8L, RS7, and S8 vehicles released in the 2016 model year.  Apparently, it also affects other luxury model variants like the Porsche Cayenne S and Cayenne Turbo as well. 

As of time of publishing, Volkswagen has not admitted to any wrongdoing regarding the case or the settlement.