Volkswagen of America has hired Kenneth Feinberg, a prominent victim compensation attorney, to create and administer a claims program that will address the needs of car owners affected by the company’s diesel emissions violations.

Feinberg has overseen large and complicated compensation programs, including the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, BP Oil – The Gulf Coast Claims Administration, and the General Motors Ignition Compensation Claims Resolution Facility, among others.

The agreement with VW has Feinberg and his firm developing a program, based on input from VW and affected car owners, although details of how it will work and who will be eligible are not yet determined. 

Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, has called for Volkswagen to compensate owners. While this announcement is a promising development, the details of the program will be key. VW owners purchased a vehicle thought to be a “clean diesel,” yet Environmental Protection Agency testing has shown it can emit up to 40 times as much as regulation allows. Compensation should account for potential declines in fuel economy and performance after a fix is made, and the potential loss of vehicle value.

Visit the Consumers Union site to see how you can help hold VW accountable.

To check your vehicle’s eligibility for VW’s current compensation package, enter your vehicle identification number at the company's official Volkswagen diesel information website.