Experts: Toyota, GM settlements window to Volkswagen case

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Posted at 1:11 PM, Mar 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-20 13:11:00-04

SAN FRANCISCO -- Legal scholars say settlements and fines over unintended acceleration in Toyotas and faulty ignition switches in General Motors' vehicles provide a glimpse of what Volkswagen might pay consumers and the government for cheating on diesel emissions.

But the Volkswagen case comes with a wild card that could significantly drive up damages: The company's admission in September that it intentionally defeated emissions tests and put dirty vehicles on the road.

Experts say Volkswagen's fraud is clearer and more egregious than GM's or Toyota's, and that could expose the company to significant punitive damages.

Meanwhile, the company is facing a Thursday deadline to report on whether it has found a way to bring nearly 600,000 diesel cars into compliance with emissions standards. A judge issued the deadline last month.