VW Dealer Settlement FAQ

SETTLEMENT FORMS:
ADDRESS UPDATE
INDIVIDUAL RELEASE

Frequently Asked Questions

Many of you have reached out to us for more information about the lawsuit, about Volkswagen's settlement agreement and about what compensation you can expect. The answers below are from the Claims Notice or questions we've received from VW dealers and have been answered by the Hagens Berman legal team.

Related Case Documents:
Complaint 04/06/16
Claims Notice 09/30/16
Motion for Preliminary Approval 09/30/16
Press Release 09/30/16

Dealer Owner FAQs

Is this VW Dealer settlement intended to include the 3.0L  diesel engines claims that may be asserted against VW, AUDI or both VW and AUDI?
Is the proposed Release intended to release any of the claims (a) referred in Question #1?
Can all or any of the settlement proceeds be assigned by the VW Franchised Dealer to the VW approved Dealer Principal?
What’s the purpose of the “Individual Release” if the VW Franchised Dealer is automatically included in the Class, unless that Dealer “opts out”?
Can the funds be sent to dealers home address or through dealership?
How are these funds taxed?
If a buy sell is in process, will selling dealer still receive these settlement funds?
How were the payments calculated?
Have legal fee’s been deducted from settlement proceeds when you say 71 times November 2015 payment?
When does opt out period end?
Are there anymore hidden Fee’s that can reduce our settlement proceeds?
If we were to accept this settlement can you provide a timeline of when 50% would be paid?

Basic Information

Why did I get this Notice?
What is this lawsuit about?
What is a class action and who are the Parties?
Why is there a Settlement?

Settlement Information

How do I know if I am part of the Settlement? What is the Class definition?
What does the proposed Settlement provide?
How were payments calculated?
How much will my payment be?
When will payments be issued?
How will my payment be sent?
What am I giving up to get a payment or stay in the Settlement?
How do I get out of the Settlement?

VW Dealers' Representation

Do I have a lawyer in this case?
How will the lawyers be paid? Are the Class Representatives being paid?
How do I tell the Court that I don't like the Settlement?
What is the difference between objecting and exluding yourself ("opting-out")?

Fairness Hearing

When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?
Do I have to come to the Fairness Hearing?
May I speak at the Fairness Hearing?

How do I get more information about the Settlement?


DEALER OWNER FAQS

Is this VW Dealer settlement intended to include the 3.0L  diesel engines claims that may be asserted against VW, AUDI or both VW and AUDI?
This settlement resolves all claims of VOLKSWAGEN dealers for all of the diesel cars, including the 3.0 liter cars.  However, IT DOES NOT RELEASE ANY CLAIMS YOU MAY HAVE AS AN AUDI OR PORSCHE DEALER.  As an Audi or Porsche dealer, you are still free to pursue any claims you may have against any party stemming from the ownership of your Audi/Porsche dealership.  This is in Sections 9.2 and 9.3 of the Settlement Agreement, which covers the release.

Is the proposed Release intended to release any of the claims (a) referred in Question #1
The release does not release any of your claims as an Audi (or Porsche) dealer.  See 9.2-3

Can all or any of the settlement proceeds be assigned by the VW Franchised Dealer to the VW approved Dealer Principal?
The Settlement Agreement does not limit what the dealership can do with the proceeds of the Settlement.

What’s the purpose of the “Individual Release” if the VW Franchised Dealer is automatically included in the Class, unless that Dealer “opts out”?
The purpose of the Individual Release is to allow dealers to start the cash component of the settlement prior to final approval, which could take months, or even years to attain if there are appeals.  By signing an Individual Release, Volkswagen then essentially gets the release it would have under the Settlement and it can then promptly (within 30 days) make the initial 50% payment and start the 18 month payment stream for the remaining 50%.  See 4.1.5 in the Settlement Agreement.

Can the funds be sent to dealers home address or through dealership?
Yes.  If you are no longer operating the dealership, you can send your payment instructions to VW, there will be a form in the notice packet and available online.

How are these funds taxed?
We cannot provide tax advice, for that you will need to consult your own expert.  The settlement itself allocates that cash component of the recovery as compensation for alleged diminution in goodwill and investment capital.

If a buy sell is in process, will selling dealer still receive these settlement funds?
If you were operating a franchise dealership on September 18, 2015, then you are entitled to the benefits of the settlement.

How were the payments calculated?
The smaller, November payments are being used to calculate the payment, but it could be either as it used as the percent of the whole for that month.  So, while the October ’15 payments were twice as large, the total VW paid was about twice as much.  So for purposes of calculating the share of the total settlement amount, there is effectively no difference between using the October payment and using the November payment.  For other non-related reasons, the November payment was technically easier to use, so that is what was used.

Have legal fee’s been deducted from settlement proceeds when you say 71 times November 2015 payment?
Legal fees are being payed separately by VW.  They do not and will not reduce the amount of the settlement or your payment.  As such, whatever amount you received in November 2015, you will receive approximately 71 times that amount under the settlement.

When does opt out period end?
It has not been set yet because the Court has not ruled on preliminary approval.  We expect a 45-day opt-out period beginning from the date the class notice is delivered.  Our best estimate now is that the end of the opt-out period will be around December 1, 2016.

Are there anymore hidden Fee’s that can reduce our settlement proceeds?
There are no “hidden Fees”

If we were to accept this settlement can you provide a timeline of when 50% would be paid?
If you remain in the settlement and you execute the individual release to receive early payment, we are hopeful that the initial payment will be sometime in December 2016.  It could possibly be January 2017, but our goal is to have it be before the end of the year.

BASIC INFORMATION

Why did I get this Notice?
You are listed in Volkswagen’s records as a VW‐branded franchise dealer as of September 18, 2015. You were sent this Notice because, as a possible Dealer Settlement Class Member, you have a right to know about the proposed class action Settlement, and about all your options, before the Court decides whether to give “final approval” to the Settlement. See Question 5 for more details about who is in the Franchise Dealer Class.

What is this lawsuit about?
In September 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) issued a notice of violation to Volkswagen AG, Audi AG, and Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (“Volkswagen” or “VW”), alleging that certain 2.0 liter Volkswagen and Audi branded diesel turbocharged direct‐injection (“TDI”) vehicles were equipped with “defeat Case 3:15-md-02672-CRB Document 1970-1 Filed 09/30/16 Page 3 of 15 QUESTIONS? CALL 1‐800‐657‐1758 TOLL‐FREE. ‐ 3 ‐  device” software designed to reduce the effectiveness of the vehicles’ emission control systems with respect to nitrogen oxides (“NOx”). In November 2015, an additional notice of violation was issued to Volkswagen alleging that certain 3.0 liter Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche branded diesel vehicles were also equipped with defeat device software. Starting in September 2015, and in the weeks and months after the notices were issued, affected owners, lessees, and dealers from across the country filed hundreds of lawsuits against Volkswagen in federal courts in all 50 states (the “Consumer Lawsuits”). The Consumer Lawsuits were consolidated in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California before the Honorable Charles R. Breyer, MDL No. 15‐ 2672.  

The Franchise Dealer Lawsuit Against Volkswagen and Robert Bosch  ​

On April 6, 2016, Napleton Orlando Imports, LLC dba Napleton’s Volkswagen of Orlando, Napleton’s Sanford Imports, LLC dba Napleton’s Volkswagen of Sanford, and Napleton Automotive of Urbana, LLC dba Napleton Volkswagen of Urbana (collectively, the “Napleton VW Dealerships”) sued, among others, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., VW Credit, Inc. and Volkswagen AG in the Northern District of Illinois, Case No. 1:16‐cv‐04071, for, among other things, damages to VW‐branded franchise dealers caused by the emissions issues associated with the TDI vehicles (the “Napleton Action”). On April 20, 2016, the Napleton Action was transferred to the MDL for pre‐trial proceedings. 

On September 30, 2016, a First Amended VW‐Branded Franchise Dealer Class Action Complaint (the “VW‐ Branded Dealer Complaint”) was filed directly in the MDL. J. Bertolet, Inc., dba J. Bertolet Volkswagen is the proposed Class Representative in the VW‐Branded Dealer Complaint, and seeks to represent a class of all VW‐ branded franchise dealers in the United States as of September 18, 2015 for their alleged loss in dealership value as a result of the emissions issues surrounding the VW 2.0 liter and 3.0 liter TDI vehicles (“TDI Vehicles”).  

The Consumer Settlements
On July 26, 2016, a Settlement agreement was filed to resolve the Consumer Lawsuits (the “Consumer Settlement”), and certain claims of government regulators relating to the 2.0 Liter TDI vehicles were resolved through a consent decree. Under the Consumer Settlement, owners and lessees of 2.0 Liter TDI Vehicles can elect to have VW buy back their vehicle, or if available, can elect to have it fixed to conform to EPA and CARB standards. In either case, consumer class members will receive a restitution payment in addition to the buyback or fix. 

The Franchise Dealer Settlement
After negotiations taking place over the course of several months, VW and counsel representing VW‐branded franchise dealers, in consultation with J. Bertolet, Inc., dba J. Bertolet Volkswagen, and the members of the VW Dealer Investment Committee, reached an agreement to settle the claims of VW‐branded franchise dealers relating to TDI Vehicles (the “Franchise Dealer Settlement”). The Franchise Dealer Settlement applies solely to VW‐branded franchise dealers, as well as to corporations and other organizations that own those VW‐branded franchise dealers as of September 18, 2015. The Franchise Dealer Settlement will become effective only if it is approved by the Court. Under the Franchise Dealer Settlement, Volkswagen will agree to the certification—for Settlement purposes only—of a class of VW‐branded franchise dealers in the United States as of September 18, 2015 (the “Franchise Dealer Class”). Members of the Franchise Dealer Class who do not opt out of the Franchise Dealer Settlement will receive the following benefits:

Cash Benefit: Volkswagen will pay up to $1.208 billion (if there is 100% participation by all Eligible Dealers) to compensate members of the Franchise Dealer Class for the alleged loss in franchise value. As discussed in greater detail below, Franchise Dealer Class Members who do not opt out of the Settlement (“Dealer Class Members”) will receive a cash payment based on what they would have received in monthly support payments in November 2015 as compared to the total of all Franchise Dealer Class members’ monthly support payments at that time. Case 3:15-md-02672-CRB Document 1970-1 Filed 09/30/16 Page 4 of 15 QUESTIONS? CALL 1‐800‐657‐1758 TOLL‐FREE, OR VISIT. ‐ 4 ‐  Fifty percent (50%) of the amount to be paid to each Dealer Settlement Class Member will be paid within 30 days of final approval of this Settlement or within 30 days of the end of the opt‐out period (“Opt‐Out Date”) if an Individual Release (described below) is completed, and the remainder will be paid in in equal monthly installments over the 18 months following the first payment. 

Non‐Cash Benefits:

  • Continuation of Incentives and Other Support Payments Volkswagen agrees to continue its “VIP” and “CSI” incentive payments to Dealer Class Members for 12 months following the earlier of the Opt‐Out Date or the first payment under this Settlement. In addition, Volkswagen will continue to pay its monthly dealer support payments until 30 days after the Opt‐Out Date or until the first payment under this Settlement, whichever is earlier.
  • Standstill of Capital Investment Obligations To the extent any Dealer Settlement Class Member is obligated under an existing agreement with Volkswagen to make capital investments (i.e., remodel, new construction, etc.) in its dealership, the Dealer Settlement Class Member may defer, at its option, such obligations for two years after the Opt‐Out Date. Likewise, Volkswagen agrees not to require capital investment in connection with the sale of a dealership for any sale that is formally proposed to Volkswagen within one year of the Opt‐Out Date.
  • Treatment of Dealer Inventory of Volkswagen Diesel Vehicles For used diesel vehicles for which Volkswagen is unable to provide an Approved Emissions Modification (“AEM”), Volkswagen will repurchase such vehicles from Dealer Settlement Class Members under the same terms provided in the Consumer Settlement for such 2.0 liter vehicles, and (b) under the same terms provided in a future potential consumer settlement, if any, for such 3.0 liter vehicles. For new diesel vehicles with no AEM, Volkswagen will repurchase such vehicles from Dealer Settlement Class Members for the net wholesale cost that was paid by the Dealer Settlement Class Member for such vehicles. For new model year 2015 diesel vehicles for which Volkswagen is able to provide an AEM, Volkswagen will offer a TDI Lease Program and a TDI Service Loan Program. The TDI Lease Program will provide attractive lease terms to consumers with substantial subvention. The TDI Service Loan Program will provide a 12‐month service loan car program for the New MY15 AEM Vehicles currently in the inventory of Dealer Settlement Class Members whereby Dealer Settlement Class Members will be charged a monthly rental fee below the current standard price of 2% of MSRP per month, and have the option, but not the requirement, to buy such New MY15 AEM Vehicles at the end of the 12‐month program if all of the steps of the AEM have been completed for the vehicle(s).  
    The Net Settlement Amount (as defined in the Agreement) is intended to compensate Dealer Settlement Class Members for alleged diminution in value of the capital investment and goodwill in their franchises resulting from the TDI Matter and other alleged action or inaction by Volkswagen described in the Settlement.


What is a class action and who are the Parties?
In a class action lawsuit, one or more people, called “class representatives,” sue on behalf of people who have similar claims. All these people together are a “class” or “class members.” One court resolves the issues for all class members, except for those who choose to exclude themselves from the Class (see Question 12).
The Settlement Class Representative involved in this Settlement is a VW‐branded franchise dealer in Pennsylvania. The Settlement Class Representative is J. Bertolet, Inc., which owns and operates J. Bertolet Volkswagen in Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania
The Settling Defendants (or companies being sued) involved in this Settlement are Volkswagen AG, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (d/b/a Volkswagen of America, Inc.), Volkswagen Group of America Chattanooga Operations, LLC, VW Credit, Inc., VW Credit Leasing, Ltd., VCI Loan Services, LLC, and any former, present, and future owners, shareholders, directors, officers, employees, attorneys, affiliates, parent companies, subsidiaries, predecessors, and successors of any of the foregoing.
Together, the Settlement Class Representative and the Settling Defendants are called the “Parties.”


Why is there a Settlement?
Volkswagen has denied all liability in the lawsuit. The Court did not decide in favor of any party on the legal claims being resolved here. Instead, all sides agreed to a Settlement, which avoids the risk and cost of a trial, but still provides compensation to the people affected. The Settlement Class Representative and Class Counsel think that the Settlement is in the best interests of Franchise Dealer Class Members and that the Franchise Dealer Settlement is fair, adequate, and reasonable

SETTLEMENT INFORMATION

How do I know if I am part of the Settlement? What is the Class definition?
If you meet the definition below, you are a Franchise Dealer Class Member and are eligible for a cash payment and the other benefits set forth above if you do not opt out. See Questions 7–8 for more details about how payment amounts will be calculated. 
Settlement Class Definition: You are a Dealer Class Member if: You owned a VW‐branded franchise dealership in the United States on September 18, 2015.


What does the proposed Settlement provide?
Cash Payments
The Settlement provides for cash payments to Dealer Settlement Class Members. If all 652 members of the Franchise Dealer Class participate in the Settlement, cash payments by Volkswagen would total $1.208 billion ($1,208,000,000.00). The average payment to each Dealer Settlement Class Member would be approximately $1.85 million ($1,850,000.00). Individual Dealer Settlement Class Members will receive more or less than the average payment based on the formula set forth below in Question 7.
In addition, Dealer Class Members will receive the following non‐cash benefits:

Continuation of Incentives and Other Support Payments
Volkswagen agrees to continue its “VIP” and “CSI” incentive payments to Dealer Settlement Class Members for 12 months following the Opt‐Out Date or until the first payment under this Settlement, whichever is earlier. In addition, Volkswagen will continue to pay its monthly dealer support payments until 30 days after the Opt‐Out Date or until the first payment under this Settlement, whichever is earlier.

Standstill of Capital Investment Obligations
To the extent any Dealer Settlement Class Member is obligated under an existing agreement with Volkswagen to make capital investments (i.e., remodel, new construction, etc.) in its dealership, the Dealer Settlement Class Member may defer, at its option, such obligations for two years after the Opt‐Out Date. Likewise, Volkswagen agrees not to require capital investment in connection with the sale of a dealership for any sale that is formally proposed to Volkswagen within one year of the Opt‐Out Date.

Treatment of Dealer Inventory of Volkswagen Diesel Vehicles
For used diesel vehicles for which Volkswagen is unable to provide an Approved Emissions Modification (“AEM”), Volkswagen will repurchase such vehicles from Dealer Settlement Class Members (a) under the same terms provided in the Consumer Settlement for such 2.0 liter vehicles, and (b) under the same terms provided in a future potential consumer settlement, if any, for such 3.0 liter vehicles. For new diesel vehicles with no AEM, Volkswagen will repurchase such vehicles from Dealer Class Members for the net wholesale cost that was paid by the Dealer Class Member for such vehicles.
For new model year 2015 diesel vehicles for which Volkswagen is able to provide an AEM, Volkswagen will offer a TDI Lease Program and a TDI Service Loan Program. The TDI Lease Program will provide attractive lease terms to consumers with substantial subvention. The TDI Service Loan Program is a 12‐month service loan car program for the New MY15 AEM Vehicles currently in the inventory of Dealer Settlement Class Members whereby Dealer Case 3:15-md-02672-CRB Document 1970-1 Filed 09/30/16 Page 6 of 15 QUESTIONS? CALL 1‐800‐657‐1758 TOLL‐FREE. ‐ 6 ‐  Settlement Class Members will be charged a monthly rental fee below the current standard price of 2% of MSRP per month, and have the option, but not the requirement, to buy such New MY15 AEM Vehicles at the end of the 12‐month program if all of the steps of the AEM have been completed for the vehicle(s).


How were payments calculated?
Payments to Dealer Settlement Class Members are based on the amount each Franchise Dealer Class Member would have received in monthly support payments from Volkswagen in November 2015 as a fraction of the total amount of monthly support payments received by all Franchise Dealer Class Members in November 2015. For example, if you received $26,000.00 in monthly support payments in November 2015, and Volkswagen paid a total of $16,930,330.00 in November 2015 to all Franchise Dealer Class Members, then your share of the cash component of the Franchise Dealer Settlement would be $26,000.00 / $16,930,330.00 x $1,208,000,000.00 = $1,855,132.18.

How much will my payment be?
Using the formula above, your cash payment under the settlement will be as provided in the attached Exhibit, provided you do not opt out of the Settlement (see Question 11).

When will payments be issued?
The Initial Payment (50% of the total payment) will be delivered to Dealer Settlement Class Members within 30 days of the end of the Opt‐Out Period for the Settlement (or 30 days after the receipt of the Individual Release, if later), if you sign and return the Individual Release below. The remaining 50% of the total payment will be paid in 18 equal consecutive monthly payments beginning 30 days after the Initial Payment. If you do not sign and return the Individual Release, you will receive your Initial Payment within 30 days of the Effective Date of the Settlement and the remainder in 18 equal consecutive monthly payments thereafter. The Effective Date of the Settlement is the date upon which all decisions in the case are final, including any appeals by any objectors. If there are objectors who appeal, the Effective Date may be several years away.

How will my payment be sent?
Volkswagen will provide payment(s) via electronic funds transfer (EFT) to Dealer Settlement Class Members with active Volkswagen dealerships. If you are a Dealer Settlement Class Member, but no longer own and operate your Volkswagen dealership, you will also receive payment(s) via EFT but must provide payment instructions using the Payment Instructions Form at the end of this Notice.  

What am I giving up to get a payment or stay in the Settlement?
Unless you exclude yourself from the Settlement (see Question 12), you are staying in the Dealer Settlement Class. This means that all of the Court’s orders will apply to you and legally bind you, and that you can’t sue or be part of any other lawsuit against the Settling Defendants (or any of the other related entities listed as “Released Parties” in the Settlement Agreement) about the legal claims resolved in the Settlement. Likewise, if you sign and return the Individual Release included in this notice in order to receive your Settlement payment sooner, you will give up the same rights to sue the Released Parties.
The release contains specific legal terminology. Talk to Class Counsel (see Question 13) or your own lawyer if you have questions about what the release means and what it covers.


How do I get out of the Settlement?
If you ask to be excluded from the Franchise Dealer Settlement (also called “opting out” of the Settlement), you will not get any money or other benefits from the Settlement. If you exclude yourself, you will not be legally bound by the Settlement. You may be able to sue (or continue to sue) the Released Parties on your own about the legal issues in the settled lawsuits. Unless you exclude yourself from the Settlement, you give up any right to sue the Released Parties for the claims that are resolved by the Franchise Dealer Settlement. Case 3:15-md-02672-CRB Document 1970-1 Filed 09/30/16 Page 7 of 15 QUESTIONS? CALL 1‐800‐657‐1758 TOLL‐FREE.
To exclude yourself from the Franchise Dealer Settlement, you must send a letter to Class Counsel and Volkswagen’s counsel by first‐class mail with a clear statement that you want to be excluded. Be sure to include your name, address, telephone number, and your signature. You can’t exclude yourself by phone, by e‐mail, or on the website. You must mail your exclusion request to the following: Steve W. Berman, VW Dealer EXCLUSION REQUEST, 1918 Eighth Avenue, Suite 3300, Seattle WA 98101  - and - 
Sharon L. Nelles, VW Dealer EXCLUSION REQUEST, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, 125 Broad Street, New York, NY 10004

VW DEALERS' REPRESENTATION

Do I have a lawyer in this case?
Yes. The Court has appointed the law firms listed below to represent you and other Franchise Dealer Class Members in the Settlement. These lawyers are called Class Counsel. You will not be charged for services performed by Class Counsel. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense. If you want to contact Class Counsel about the Settlement, they can be reached at:
HAGENS BERMAN SOBOL SHAPIRO LLP Steve W. Berman (Seattle, WA) Thomas E. Loeser (Seattle, WA) (206) 623‐7292 [email protected]
BASS SOX MERCER Richard N. Sox (Tallahassee, FL) Jason Allen (Tallahassee, FL) (850) 878‐6404 [email protected]


How will the lawyers be paid? Are the Class Representatives being paid?
Attorneys’ Fees. Volkswagen will pay attorneys’ fees and costs to Class Counsel in addition to the benefits it is providing to the Dealer Settlement Class Members in this Settlement. At a later date to be determined by the Court, Class Counsel will ask the Court for an award of attorneys’ fees and reasonable costs. Dealer Settlement Class Members will have an opportunity to comment on and/or object to this request at an appropriate time. The Court must approve the award of attorneys’ fees and costs to be paid by Volkswagen. Any attorneys’ fees and costs awarded by the Court will be paid separately by Volkswagen and will not reduce benefits to class members.  

How do I tell the Court that I don't like the Settlement?
If you’re a Dealer Settlement Class Member, you can object to the proposed Settlement if you don’t like it. You cannot object if you have excluded yourself from the Settlement (see Question 12).   You can object if you don’t like any part of the proposed Settlement, including the way payments were calculated, or the request for the attorneys’ Fee and Expense Award. You can give reasons why you think the Court should not approve any or all of these items, and the Court will consider your views. 

You CANNOT object in order to ask the Court for a higher payment for yourself personally, although you can object to the payment formula that applies generally to the Dealer Settlement Class. The Court can only approve or disapprove the Settlement, but cannot change how much money you are personally eligible to receive from the Settlement. This means that if the Court agrees with your objection, the case won’t be settled unless the parties agree to change the terms and the Court approves those changes.

To object, you must (a) mail your objection to Class Counsel and Volkswagen’s counsel and (b) file it with the Court. To be timely, your objection must be mailed to Class Counsel and Volkswagen’s counsel, and must be filed with the Court, at the following addresses: 

Steve W. Berman VW Dealer Objection 1918 Eighth Avenue, Suite 3300 Seattle, WA 98101
Sharon L. Nelles Sullivan & Cromwell LLP 125 Broad Street New York, NY 10004
Clerk of the Court/Judge Charles R. Breyer Phillip Burton Federal Building & United States Courthouse   450 Golden Gate Avenue San Francisco, CA 94102

Note: You may mail your objection to the Court.You must include the following information in your objection: Your full name, address, telephone number, and signature. The specific reasons why you object to the Settlement. The name, address, bar number, and telephone number of your counsel, if you’re represented by an attorney. If you are represented by an attorney, he/she or it must comply with all applicable laws and rules for filing pleadings and documents in the Northern District of California. State whether you intend to appear at the Fairness Hearing, either in person or through counsel. Unless you submit a proper and timely written objection, according to the above requirements, you will not be allowed to object to the Settlement or appear at the Fairness Hearing. (See Questions 17–19).

What is the difference between objecting and exluding yourself ("opting-out")?
Objecting is simply telling the Court that you don’t like something about the Settlement. Excluding yourself or opting‐out is telling the Court that you don’t want to be part of the Settlement. If you exclude yourself then you cannot object to the Settlement because you are not a part of it. If you object, and the Court approves the Settlement anyway, you will still get your benefits under the Settlement and be legally bound by the Settlement.  

FAIRNESS HEARING

When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?
The Court will hold a “Fairness Hearing” (also known as a “Final Approval Hearing”) to decide whether to finally approve the proposed Settlement. The Fairness Hearing is TBD, before Judge Charles Breyer, United States District Court for the Northern District of California, 450 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102. If you want to attend the Fairness Hearing, keep in mind that the date and/or time may be changed after the time of this Notice.


At the Fairness Hearing, the Court will consider whether the Franchise Dealer Settlement and all of its terms are adequate, fair, and reasonable. If there are objections, the Court will consider them. The Court may also decide how much to award Class Counsel for fees and expenses.   Case 3:15-md-02672-CRB Document 1970-1 Filed 09/30/16 Page 9 of 15 QUESTIONS? CALL 1‐800‐657‐1758 TOLL‐FREE.

At or after the Fairness Hearing, the Court will decide whether to finally approve the proposed Settlement. There may be appeals after that. There is no set timeline for either the Court’s final approval decision, or for any appeals that may be brought from that decision, so it is impossible to know exactly when the Franchise Dealer Settlement will become final.
The Court may change deadlines listed in this Notice without further notice to the Class. To keep up on any changes in the deadlines, please contact Class Counsel or review the website.


Do I have to come to the Fairness Hearing?
No. Class Counsel will answer any questions asked by the Court. If you send an objection, you don’t have to come to Court to talk about it. So long as you mailed your written objection on time and complied with the other requirements for a proper objection, the Court will consider it. You may also pay another lawyer to attend, but it’s not required.

May I speak at the Fairness Hearing?
Yes. If you submitted a proper written objection to the Settlement, you or your lawyer may, at your own expense, speak at the Fairness Hearing. To do so, you must follow the procedures set out in Question 15. You must also file a Notice of Intention to Appear, which must be mailed to Class Counsel and Volkswagen’s counsel and postmarked no later than [DATE TBD]. It must be filed with the Clerk of the Court by that same date. If you intend to have a lawyer appear on your behalf, your lawyer must enter a written notice of appearance of counsel with the Clerk of the Court no later than [DATE TBD]. 

HOW DO I GET MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE SETTLEMENT?

This Notice summarizes the proposed Settlement. For the precise terms and conditions of the Franchise Dealer Settlement, please see the Settlement Agreement YOU MAY OBTAIN ADDITIONAL INFORMATION BY:

  • CALLING. Call Class Counsel toll‐free at 1‐800‐657‐1758 to ask questions and receive copies of documents. 
  • E-MAILING. Email Class Counsel at [email protected]
  • WRITING. Send your questions by mail to Class Counsel: HAGENS BERMAN SOBOL SHAPIRO LLP Steve W. Berman (Seattle, WA) Thomas E. Loeser (Seattle, WA) (206) 623‐7292 [email protected]; BASS SOX MERCER Richard N. Sox (Tallahassee, FL) Jason Allen (Tallahassee, FL) (850) 878‐6404 [email protected]
  • ACCESSING PACER.You can access the Court dockets in these cases through the Court’s Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system at https://ecf.wawd.uscourts.gov. An access charge may apply.