Volkswagen Group of America has begun the process of buying back cars affected by the ongoing diesel emissions scandal, but you shouldn’t expect to receive a letter or phone call with a buyback offer anytime soon.
VW is going ahead with a buyback program that will see the automaker acquire affected vehicles from dealers’ certified pre-owned (CPO) inventories, a source familiar with the plan told TTAC.
Based on information provided by the source, it appears VW is buying back affected first-generation “clean diesel” TDI vehicles with lean NOx traps (LNTs) and exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), and not vehicles equipped with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems that rely on a urea-based solution to reduce NOx emissions.
The first generation of VW’s “clean diesel” vehicles used a version of the EA189 2-liter diesel engine that did not rely on diesel exhaust fluid, or AdBlue. Later models switched from the LNT/EGR system to the more costly SCR system that requires AdBlue.
It’s widely believed first-generation EA189 vehicles can not be fixed without significant modifications that include the addition of an SCR system. Those vehicles could cost the automaker as much as $2,500 in parts alone to retrofit. Later, second-generation EA189 vehicles are already equipped with SCR systems and are likely to be fixed instead of bought back by VW.
According to the source, there’s currently no plan for VW to acquire affected new vehicles from dealer inventories.
Requests for comment were not immediately returned by VW by time of publication.
[Photo: Flickr/Rob Brewer]