Does VW ‘goodwill’ payment clause prevent owners from suing? – Los Angeles Times

Posted: Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Volkswagen is offering $500 in cash and $500 in VW dealer credit to owners of its diesel cars, a first step in compensating them in the wake of a global emissions-test cheating scandal.

The “goodwill package” is a stopgap measure while the automaker works on a way to fix the cars, which contain software designed to evade U.S. pollution regulations.

The automaker says customers don’t have to give up their right to sue the company – as thousands already are – but some attorneys are disputing that and warning customers not to sign an arbitration clause required to get the money.

“It is a complete end run around the litigation that is in place,” said Amy Williams-Derry, an attorney with Keller Rohrback, one of the law firm’s pursuing class action litigation against the automaker. “They are trying to buy off plaintiffs who have already sued and consumers who would benefit from a class-action recovery.”

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