VW to pay $97M for overstated fuel-economy numbers in exclusive cars

Volkswagen on Friday announced it settled with owners of about 98,000 high-end luxury cars after the automaker admitted that the cars were sold with overstated fuel-economy figures. 

The cars, which include 2013-2017 Bentley, Audi, Porsche, and VW models, will have restated fuel-economy estimates that are 1 mpg lower than when they were sold. VW said it will pay owners $5.40 to $24.30 for each month the car was owned or leased. VW also will forfeit emissions credits with federal regulators for the overstated fuel-economy figures.

At issue is transmission software in affected models that caused the cars to shift differently during test cycles than they would in the real world. The issue, which resembles slightly the automaker’s 2015 scandal with diesel-powered cars, is another black eye for the automaker on the heels of its debut of a fully electric vehicle platform that will go on sale around the world.

According to the EPA, the affected models are: 2013-2016 Audi A8L, S8, and RS7 sedans and hatchbacks; 2013-2017 Bentley Continental GT and Flying Spur coupes, convertibles, and sedans; 2013-2016 Porsche Cayenne SUVs; and 2013-2014 Touareg and 2017 Tiguan SUVs. The issue mostly affects vehicles equipped with a V-8 or W-12, although some V-6 models were included.

Federal regulators said the cars’ efficiency ratings on FuelEconomy.gov should reflect the updated ratings this week.