Bosch, a global auto supplier, has entered into a settlement agreement with civil claimants in the U.S. in order to settle the most substantial part of the civil law proceedings pending in connection with Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche diesel vehicles that were sold in the U.S.
The corresponding documents have been filed overnight with the competent U.S. court, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The settlement agreement was concluded with the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee on behalf of proposed settlement classes.
The agreement would settle the claims of consumers and dealers of used vehicles against Robert Bosch GmbH, its affiliates, employees and directors concerning Volkswagen and Audi diesel vehicles with 2.0 L engines for model years 2009 through 2015 and Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche diesel vehicles with 3.0 L engines for model years 2009 through 2016. For this purpose, Bosch will pay a total amount of $327.5 million.
Bosch’s role in the Volkswagen Dieselgate scandal was covered in detail by The New York Times.
According to the Times report, no one at Volkswagen knew how to write the emissions-cheating software, so the company turned to Robert Bosch – one of its most trusted partners.
The article says, “Working from Volkswagen specifications, Bosch developed code that instructed computers in diesel engines to fully deploy pollution controls only when the cars were being tested in laboratories, according to lawsuits in the United States and Germany.
“The code would form the basis for the so-called defeat devices, the illegal software installed on 580,000 Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche vehicles in the United States that has forced the carmaker to plead guilty to fraud and pay more than $20 billion in fines and settlements.”
By entering into this $327.5 million settlement, Bosch says it does not acknowledge the facts as alleged by the plaintiffs, nor does Bosch accept any liability.
“Upon careful consideration of all relevant aspects, we have in this case decided to enter into a settlement agreement. Bosch is currently undergoing the biggest transformation process in its company history. We wish to devote our attention and our resources to the transition in mobility and in other areas of activity,” says Volkmar Denner, chairman of the management board of Robert Bosch GmbH.
The settlement agreement now reached requires the approval by Judge Charles R. Breyer, who conducts the nationwide multi-district proceedings in which numerous civil law actions have been combined. In a hearing scheduled for Feb. 14, the court will consider to grant preliminary approval of the settlement agreement. The class members will then be informed of their rights and options.
It is proposed that the court consider final approval of the settlement agreement in early May.
The settlement agreement concerns only civil law claims. As it has done since allegations have first been made public, Bosch says it will continue to defend its interests in all other civil and criminal law proceedings and to cooperate comprehensively with the investigating authorities in Germany and in other countries.