Volkswagen To Offer $5,000, Buy Back Cars To Settle Dieselgate

1 year ago by Jay Cole 68

VW Emission Scandal Has Lead To A Firmer Embrace Of Plug-In Technology By The German Automaker

VW Emission Scandal Has Lead To A Firmer Embrace Of Plug-In Technology By The German Automaker

The emission scandal that convinced the world’s largest advocate of “clean diesel” to abandon ship and embrace plug-in technology appears to be reaching a settlement in the United States.

Many Audi A3 2.0T Diesels (shown here in e-tron spec) Will Reportedly Be Returning To VW

Many Audi A3 2.0T Diesels (shown here in e-tron spec) Will Reportedly Be Returning To VW

As reported by Germany’s Die Welt newspaper today, besides having to fix or buyback affected cars, a deal tentatively reached with the US authorities would also see VW pay each customer with an applicable diesel receive $5,000 in compensation.

For those with a 2.0-liter diesel (such equipped on some Jetta, Golf and Audi A3), the company will present an offer to also buy those vehicles back.

The deadline to get the deal approved expires on April 21st.  This apparent settlement means Volkswagen will avoid a costly and high profile trial – of which it was unlikely to fair well in.

The final settlement will likely also include an environmental remediation fund, addressing excess pollution emitted by the VW diesels since the cheating began in 2009.

VW has yet to comment on the matter, but one assumes we will get confirmation either way within about ~24 hours or so.

Auto News, Hat tip to Jamie H, ffbj!

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68 responses to "Volkswagen To Offer $5,000, Buy Back Cars To Settle Dieselgate"

  1. Trollnonymous says:

    Is it April 1 again?!?!?!?!?!?

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Must have missed that one, sorry about that my friend, we’ll add in a hat tip to you too, (=

  2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    If VW is actually serious about offering to pay $5000 to buy back each and every effected faux-clean diesel car, then that’s a lot more than I expected from them.

    Note that I didn’t say it was sufficient to make up for the crime; just that this is more than I expected them to offer.

    (And today is not a good day to be a Volkswagen stockholder!)

    1. Mxs says:

      No, but quite a day for the effected VW owners, if indeed this gets approved by the judge.

  3. Speculawyer says:

    And then what happens to those cars? Do they just ship them to Africa and resell for no net benefit to the atmosphere?

    1. MikeG says:

      Good question. It would be totally unacceptable if the repurchased diesels were not crushed or rendered inop.

      1. David murray says:

        Or they could simply fix the firmware so they stay in compliance mode 100% of the time and then resell them.

        1. MikeG says:

          Except that they can’t do that or they would have done it already. This is an intractable problem that isn’t going to be solved with software.

          1. Djoni says:

            I don’t see why not.
            It’s a software program that makes it compliant while testing; it’s just a matter of keeping the setting in this program.
            The point is, the car will have lesser performance and use more fuel, but it would be environmentally compliant.

            1. Anon says:

              No, it’s that EVEN WITH the European Software / Hardware Fix, real world emissions tested, IS STILL NOT within legal limits.

              Diesel Is Dead, my friends.

              1. pjwood1 says:

                Not exactly true. Reputation perhaps mortally wounded, but all VW had to do was fit the common urea injection system, like GM did with its tier 2 bin 5 compliant Colorado diesel. That’s the same standard, as do higher dollar diesels. EPA is not in the business of making things impossible.

                More than anything else, this saga illustrates the lengths Volkswagen went to circumvent a unique U.S. law requiring the disclosure of “alternative emissions control devices”, and a deep rooted belief they could define “Clean” their way.

        2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Making the cars run “in compliance mode” means the MPG would go to hell, and if I understand it correctly, there would even be problems with starting the engine and getting it to run smoothly, especially when cold.

          As MikeG said, this isn’t a problem that can be fixed in any practical manner. If there was a possible fix, then it would have been fixed in production already. A real fix would require a new engine design and an engine replacement.

          From a business standpoint, I can’t imagine that VW wouldn’t sell off any of the cars it bought to used car auction outlets. Even putting a “caveat emptor” sticker on the car would be better than wasting the investment by crushing them. (Of course, many or most used car salesmen would remove any warning stickers, but that’s not VW’s fault, right?)

    2. Emc2 says:

      Or to Latin America. But s lot of these countries do not have emission standards, so it will not be illegal to sell them over there. Also, take into account that car fleets in these countries are very old, old, average 15 years. Therefore they would benefit from having these VWs, which certainly will polute much less than the old crankers.

      1. MDEV says:

        Are you Cuban? because you describe something that is not true.

        1. Emc2 says:

          Nope, Cuban cars are over 50 years old. What a good idea you had! Cubans would be more than happy to take all those VWs.

          1. super390 says:

            There’s lots of American car collectors who would love to get those pre-1960 cars out of Cuba. Some sort of trade is in order.

    3. Mxs says:

      They will end up in scrap yards. It’s impossible to fix them and use them elsewhere. Don’t forget it’s a little finicky engine which requires a low sulfur diesel fuel. Africa doesn’t have acces to that, nor do they have places to fix these cars down the road …. Scrap yards it is.

    4. Chris says:

      I would be happy to see them in Europe. To me, both the cheat and higher NOx emissions are an internal matter of US agencies and VW. The cars themselves are better and more efficient than equivalent petrol models, just like they were before.

      1. Jychevyvolt says:

        We should put the tailpipe inside the car. See how you like fuel efficiency.

        1. Mxs says:

          Please don’t be ridiculous and hypocrititical ….. Tell us what you have driven over the last 15 years.

          Your comment proves you are clueless of what is really going on here.

      2. Priusmaniac says:

        We don’t need those in Europe. They must be scraped EV1 way. For once that will be a good thing.

      3. Mister G says:

        You must of failed Chemistry, there is no such thing as “clean diesel” or “clean coal”…would you like to buy a bottle of evaporated H2O…LOL

    5. TreeHugger says:

      No they will be given some F150 and Dodge RAM owner as replacements – with massive gains for the athmosphere…
      Probably will be sold in Mexico or smth. The gain for the environment in crushing a relatively new high mpg car seems absurd to me. Better crush some horrible mpg V8 pick ups.

      1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

        Mexico city has big smog problem. It is exactly the place that doesn’t need these diesels.

    6. wavelet says:

      When people were joking that VW would export these cars to the 3d world, I decided to research this. There is not a **SINGLE** country on the planet that has published standards on NOx where these cars would be road-legal. That includes all developing countries. These cars wouldn’t be compliant to the published US/EU standards in force a full decade before they went on sale in 2009.
      They pollute more per mile than any standard-compliant “light commercial” vehicle sold in the US, like the F150 diesels and their ilk (vehicles >10k lbs have a different standard).

  4. vdiv says:

    Should have required to swap them with plugins.

    1. Mxs says:

      Really?? What else would you like to force the owners to do??

    2. Nick says:

      That would have been genius.

      Likely cost much more per car, but would have gotten many more plug in cars on the road.

  5. ModernMarvelFan says:

    How is this “inside EV” related news? =)

    1. ffbj says:

      It is like pointing out that the hopes of the proliferation of clean diesels, the ‘engine of the the future’ was based on a lie, effectuated by agents provocateur of VW, to hoodwink a gullible public into buying a pig in a poke.

      Juxtapose that with Tesla. A low emission vehicle that gets cleaner as the grid does, and we are going in that direction.

      More simply it’s comparison by opposite, a time honored method of defining yourself, and of having others so define you, is to define what you are not.

      “Have you met my son, ‘The Doctor?’ And what does your son do?'”
      “He’s a VW Diesel engine emission engineer.”

      “Oy Vey!”
      So in that since it is certainly newsworthy.

      1. Jay Cole says:

        “…the emission scandal that convinced the world’s largest advocate of “clean diesel” to abandon ship and embrace plug-in technology appears”

        /circle closed, (=

      2. pjwood1 says:

        Before we slam dunk this, consider U.S. coal averages close to 2 pounds of nitrogen oxides, per MWh. It used to be 4, but with catalytic reduction has gone down (NRDC has tracked this). A Tesla driver running 350wh/mile, is using 350/1,000,000 MWh. At a 35% coal mix: (.35)(350/1000000)*906 grams = .11gr/mile. Automotive tier 2 bin 5, adopted in 2008-09, chased down from a much higher level to .07gr/mile. So, to be fair, compliant diesels are competitive when it comes to NOx. YMMV (energy mix, wh/mile, level of coal SCR and OEM cheat software 😉 notwithstanding.

        1. sungus says:

          Great point. All over the world diesels are still driven and popularly used because they are fuel efficient and overall have a smaller foot print then unleaded. Apparently Asia, Europeans, and Latin Americans live longer than folks in the US. Lastly, have anyone seen the soot the Ford F250 / F350 makes? How does the US get away with it? It’s a truck and US auto maker averages out by selling mediocre to crappy small cars. How about the Spinters? trucks which slide under the radar. 600k vehicles seems like a drop in a bucket.

    2. Mxs says:

      Tesla is golden child here , VW is the bad one . I thought that’s obvious not only to the Tesla fanatics.

      1. floydboy says:

        “Fanatics”?……..aficionados?
        Maybe each ‘child’s’ behavior speaks for itself.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          The word “fan” originated as merely a shortened form of “fanatic”. Given the fact that some sports fans will go to the extreme of painting their faces… or even chests… with team colors, perhaps that definition still fits! 🙂

      2. Nick says:

        Weird.

        You’re telling me the company selling products which will lead to premature deaths and treating our atmosphere like a giant open sewer is treated like the bad guy here?

        Whereas the company doing the most to usher in the era of fossil fuel free personal transport is the hero? On a site called “Inside EVs”?

        Crazy.

  6. Maybe they should be required to pay to have them converted to Electric Vehicles, and provide funding to EV Conversion Companies, along with Engineering Support to help them do a 1st rate job, Then resell them as used car conversions!

    Could be a 10 year long contract at each of many such shops!

  7. ILETRIC says:

    The cars were out of compliance. They were in compliance only while in test mode. That was the crux of the matter here in the US. No software fixin’ can fix THAT.

  8. Anon says:

    I think a 5K ‘buy back’ is pitiful compensation for VW TDI owners. Do they also require you to buy another VW, to get that full amount?

    The lawsuits will be legendary…

    1. Eddie says:

      The 5000 will only cover the money lost in your cars value when the scandal hit!

  9. super390 says:

    “…besides having to fix or buyback affected cars, a deal tentatively reached with the US authorities would also see VW pay each customer with an applicable diesel receive $5,000 in compensation.”

    So it’s buyback PLUS $5000.

    1. Anon says:

      There is no valid FIX for those cars.

      And is the buyback = original purchase price, or a dramatically depreciated amount due to the vehicle being involved in the Diesel-gate Scandal?

      I don’t think 5k is enough.

      1. Mxs says:

        You don’t understand the conditions of the settlement, or proposed settlement.

        It’s either ….

        1) 5k + fair market value from pre scandal times

        2) 5k + let them fix your car (no EPA approved fixed available yet and who knows if there ever will be one)

        3) Keep driving your car without anyone touching your car as long as it s not 2 years past the approved date of the settlement where the offer runs out, then you get nothing

        It should also be pointed out that this has nothing to do with a future penalty/fine laid by EPA.

  10. Paul G says:

    A reminder to those who think the buy back is $5000. I think you’ll find its $5000 to all diesel buyers and they will probably buy the car back at prices set in September of last year (before the diesel scandal broke).

    People who bought a second hand diesel after September are the ones who will probably miss out.

    1. pjwood1 says:

      “1 billion” is thrown around almost as much as the “5,000” that people are quoting. Knowing there are more than 500,000 cars (meaning $2,000), we need to see what is presented to Judge Breyer in a few hours to know more. Many variables, with “expensive” being VW’s constant. If you believe, as I, that $300-400 extra on the assembly line would have paid for compliance, you get some perspective of the financial stupidity they will be committing as all-in settlement costs look like they may clear $5,000 per U.S. car.

  11. andre says:

    canadians should pay 3000 for VW support!…and keep humming,and not getting excited about stupid environmental issues!!

  12. Den S says:

    I’m screwed. I bought a new car and did not trade it in as the trade in was very low. I finally sold it and lost money and now will most likely loose again. I’ll never buy VW.

    1. Murrysville EV says:

      You are correct.

      And many VW owners share your opinion, which means VW will slowly lose market share, shrink as a business, and fade into oblivion. The weight of countless lawsuits and fines will only ensure their doom.

  13. Danny R says:

    What do you all think for the people that have leased a 2014 Passat TDI?

    1. Mister G says:

      It depends on why they leased a 14 Passat…if they leased it for quality and performance only they made a great choice but if they leased it for “clean diesel” then they failed chemistry.

  14. Doug Bostrom says:

    Perhaps it would have better to skip all this and go directly for ev?

    “We can’t afford to do that!”

    I wish a little more creativity were built in this settlement.

  15. Ron H says:

    From the Forbes website

    “Currently, VW management is being heavily criticized by union representatives, employees and shareholders for voting themselves year-end bonuses, while at the same time preparing rank and file for job cuts resulting from the billions being set-aside to pay fines and compensation to VW owners.

    A freakin’ BONUS for management? Seriously? I was a happy TDI owner and thru all this I still love my diesel VW and sitting happy and patiently waiting for VW to rectify this …. UNTIL I read this…. Every word of this quote is just so WRONG and if true , well I’m sure my post would be deleted if I said what I think about every manager that gets one penny in bonus

    1. pjwood1 says:

      Management took a 30% haircut to their bonuses, if it makes you feel any better. VW lost me when my they wanted $5,500 for the exhaust, a little more than 3 years into new ownership. This, for the same parts we now know never worked. Yeah, this goes deep for some of us.

    2. super390 says:

      People who bash unions, or even blame union greed for all the misdeeds of their employers, are ignoring who really has the power in a corporation. The investors see the executives as their friends, and the workers as their enemies, and all behavior reflects that.

      They invest in politicians too, which should tell you something.

  16. Vexar says:

    Unless there’s some significant teeth, such as “you cannot renew your state license tabs” I doubt that all TDI owners are going to comply. I do think a check for $5000 will help get some of them to appear. When you get right down to it, people love the cars they have bought and if there’s “nothing wrong” with theirs to an un-scientific evaluation of how they feel, then a fair quotient of the 600,000 TDIs will stay on the roads, and the owners will dodge going to dealerships for repairs.
    It is disgusting, but I see human nature for what it is. We live in a perfect world but our human nature makes it imperfect and fallen at every turn. Some people care about the environment, while other people hate environmentalists as people and don’t care about their personal pollution even going so far as to roll coal.

    1. sungus says:

      Vexar please don’t order anything from FedEx because they all have Dodge/Mercedes sprinters. Or write letters to Ford about their trucks spewing shoot like one can’t imagine.

      1. Vexar says:

        My FedEx driver and I were talking about his truck just last week. I can’t control what gets shipped to my business by other people. We usually have a brief chat about electric cars or circus. He’s telling me that FedEx is increasing their electrification, but nothing on the map for my service area yet:

    2. super390 says:

      But now those VWs can’t fool smog tests anymore, so they will get caught on their next inspection and lose their registrations.

      I checked which states don’t even do smog tests:
      AL, AK, FL, HI, most of ID, IN, IO, KS, KY, parts of LA, parts of MA, MI, MN, MS, parts of MO, MT, NE, parts of NV, ND, parts of OH, SC, SD, parts of TN, parts of TX, parts of UH, parts of VA, WV, parts of WI, and WY.

      So what we can do about this is get those states into the 21st century – which means firing their legislators.

      1. super390 says:

        I meant Maine, not Massachusetts.

  17. Paul says:

    Give me 5K to apply to a new TDI, fix my ’09 and I will drive them both. Current car has 356K with no repairs, THE BEST car I have ever owned in 50 years of driving. I was considering a new Passat TDI when this all broke, should have acted quicker!! 56 mpg was great for 300K, now get 45 mpg because of an EGR/exhaust problem that was quoted at almost $6000 to fix, only benefit would be getting back to 55+ mpg…how many million miles to amortize that repair? This would be great, $5000 toward my new TDI, AND make the old one good.

    1. Murrysville EV says:

      There won’t be any more new TDIs.

      There won’t be any more 09 TDIs, either. Your old car will be crushed, and the compensation from VW can be used to buy something else.

  18. Joe says:

    “Many Audi A3 2.0T Diesels (shown here in e-tron spec)”

    The second picture’s title is plenty misleading: neither is there a 2.0T Diesel (theyre called 2.0 TDI), nor are they availabel as e-tron versions. Audi only pairs their e-tron with gasoline engines. And these use a 1.4 TFSI engine, not a 2.0. Also the word “trim” suggests an (optical) equipment configuration rather than a drivetrain configuration. Please fix!

  19. Derek C says:

    Why isn’t anyone considering filing a complaint individually and asking for a jury trial where you would be awarded compensatory damages and likely punitive damages? Pain suffering? Make a 998 offer and if they don’t take it, VW pays your attorney fees if you win. We should be getting 10k a car. The 5k offsets the average 27% market share loss since the fraud was revealed.

  20. Danny R says:

    Do you all think they will Handel leased passats the same as the purchased ones?

  21. Eliteanus.ru says:

    I almost never drop responses, but after reading through a lot of remarks here Volkswagen To Offer $5,000, Buy Back Cars To Settle Dieselgate.

    I do have 2 questions for you if it’s okay.
    Could it be only me or do some of these remarks look as if they are written by brain dead individuals?
    😛 And, if you are writing at additional social sites, I’d like to keep up with anything new you
    have to post. Could you make a list of the complete
    urls of all your public pages like your linkedin profile,
    Facebook page or twitter feed?