Researchers Who Uncovered VW Scandal Won’t See Much Of The $15 Billion Payout

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Craig Boudreau Vice Reporter
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The team of researchers from West Virginia University (WVU) that uncovered the Volkswagen (VW) cheating scandal say they’ll be lucky to see a “sliver” of the more than $15 billion paid out by the automaker as part of its settlement.

Dan Carder and his team of researchers from WVU’s Center for Alternative Fuels Engines and Emissions discovered VW had installed a device to cheat on government-mandated emissions tests.

The New York Times notes despite the bombshell discovery, the department’s annual budget of $1.5 million is being cut. There have been no reports of outside agencies donating funds into the the department as of yet.

“Only a fraction of its $1.5 million annual budget comes from the university, and that is being cut,” The New York Times reported.

Noting his department’s lack of annual funding, Carder told The New York Times, “I still have sleepless nights trying to figure out how I’m going to pay the guys the next pay cycle.”

Of the more than $15 billion VW is being forced to pay out, $4.7 billion is being set aside specifically for research into green vehicles, as well as projects to help offset the extra emissions VW cars have produced. CNN reports the scandal could even end up costing as much as $87 billion.

Carder, director of the university’s Center for Alternative Fuels Engines and Emissions, was named one of Time Magazines “100 Most Influential People” of 2015 for his work in uncovering the scandal.

Despite making such a prestigious list alongside world leaders, senators and other major technology players, the university department has not benefited financially from its discovery.

Carder’s team was recognized for its work by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) in a 2015 press release.

“The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and CARB (California Air Resources Board) action has its beginnings in an ICCT research project done in collaboration with West Virginia University during 2013 and 2014,” an ICCT press release read.

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