Volkswagen May Buy Back Over 100K Diesel Cars in the US

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Volkswagen May Buy Back Over 100K Diesel Cars in the US

Volkswagen is already betting on having to buy back at least 115,000 diesel-equipped vehicles in the U.S.

This is according to German publication Sueddeutsche Zeitung, which is claiming that Volkswagen will have to refund the purchase price of about one fifth of the 580,000 diesel-powered vehicles that don’t meet U.S. emissions regulations. The brand may also offer a new car at a significant discount to the affected owners.

As for the rest of the affected vehicles, Volkswagen expects that they will need a major refit of parts to become compliant, which will cost a significant amount of both money and time.

SEE ALSO: The Feds are Suing Volkswagen for Violating the Clean Air Act

VW is still working to reach an agreement with U.S. regulators on how exactly it will fix the problematic cars, though VW brand chief Herbert Diess is confident that brand will find a suitable fix soon. It is the older cars fit with 2.0-liter diesel engines that Diess says will be the hardest to bring into compliance.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said that the discussions with Volkswagen have still not produced “an acceptable way forward. EPA continues to insist that VW develops effective, appropriate remedies as expeditiously as possible.”

Volkswagen is also being sued by the U.S. Justice Deparrmtent over the scandal, which may end up costing the German automaker $48 billion.

The fix for VW’s diesel cars in Europe has already been agreed upon and Diess believes that about 8.5 million vehicles will be fixed by the end of 2016 in Europe.

[Source: Sueddeutsche.de via Automotive News]

  • Gregg Greenwood

    I need more info to understand my options.

    Will the refit of those major parts result in a car that needs more maintenance, has lower performance, or worse gas mileage? If any (or all) of those are yes, why does VW think owners will bring in their cars for this “service?”

    The automaker can’t make me alter my car. For that matter, the government can’t make me do it either. My state doesn’t do emissions testing on consumer cars.

  • JoJo

    Gregg I have the same concern with my 2013 Passat. I’m in a state that mandates inspections. VW needs to buy back these cars. You know as I do that our cars have lost their value and performance decline is coming no matter what VW promises.

  • EFTROM

    I just love government forcing weak innovation instead of letting strong innovation come naturally.

  • Chuck Hawks

    I’m in the same boat with you, JoJo – I own a 2013 Passat TDI. I purchased mine as a CPO, so getting a buy-back solution is likely pretty remote; and to be honest, I doubt getting a buy-back on anything older than a relatively recent purchase of a 2015 or 16 model is a relatively lost cause.

    It’s unfortunate but also from a business perspective, it’s understandable. Our 2013 cars currently are significantly difficult to valuate because we have owned and used them for a significant period of time. Currently banks and larger finance companies won’t even consider funding a loan on a diesel VW or VW family (Audi, Porsche, etc.) vehicle because they cannot reliably establish an asset value. So even if you found a really nice, low mileage TDI on a competitor’s lot (say a Chevy dealer, or privateer lot for instance), you will likely find it difficult if not impossible to get a loan to purchase it right now without going through something like a “buy-here/pay-here” or local loan provider (and even those might be in the ‘good luck with that’ category).

    If you had just purchased a TDI when all this surfaced, you’ll be much more likely to be included in any sort of buy-back solution that may (or may not) come about. For us owners of vehicles that are older, probably the most we can hope for is a significant discount on the purchase of a new (gas?) VW. Maybe another extension of “good-will” funds like the currently active program as an appeasement to congress but only time will tell for any of this. At the end of the day, they are a business that is looking down the barrel of an enormous outlay of cash, so just like any business in such a situation they will do anything in their power to minimize that exposure and the result thereof.

    As someone who has owned many VWs and has worked with VWoA as a contract trainer, I have to say that I’m really disappointed and disillusioned by how VW has handled this fiasco thus far. In the beginning, I appreciated Winterkorn and Muller stepping up and saying ‘this has happened and we will correct it’ – owning it instead of denying, hiding, or skirting the issue. But everything after that has been frustrating and less than expected.

    In this case, no news doesn’t look like good news…

    Please know that taking your complaints to dealerships will gain you nothing, as they only know as much as we customers do. VW corporate has kept them just as in the dark and continues to tell them to wait just a little longer while they figure this out. They tell the dealers the same old “We’re working as hard as we can to expedite the solution” that they publish in the media and customer communications while they either drag their feet or more likely, keep everyone in the dark while they get as many ducks in a row as they can to minimize lasting damage and financial outlay.

    Most dealerships are extremely frustrated with VW and how they are handling this as well, and their hands are severely tied to make matters even worse. As hard as it may seem to be to believe, the dealerships are hurt way worse by this than are individual vehicle owners.

    All this to say: Don’t get your hopes up on a buy-back scenario unless you purchased a new TDI just before or during the whole “Dieselgate” debacle. At the same time, it’s probably not too much to expect a serious “Loyalty discount” program to be extended to those who ride this thing out.

    I still love my Passat TDI and the excellent fuel economy that comes with it but living in a state that requires emissions testing prior to registration renewal, my days of enjoying such without taking a hit in performance, efficiency, and/or certainly resale value seem limited.

  • JoJo

    Chuck I’m quite happy with my passat as of now. A fix that degrades performance is my concern. I’d be open to an extended warranty if offered. My intent is to wait for VW to resolve this dilemma and I will remain loyal and step up to a VW suv. We will see what happens.