By on March 24, 2016

TDI Clean Diesel

After missing today’s deadline for a U.S. emissions fix, Volkswagen has been issued a new one, and will now face a summer trial if the date passes without a plan to cure its diesel ills.

The extension of the deadline until April 21 was issued by U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer, who had earlier set the March 24 deadline for the embattled automaker, Reuters is reporting.

The consensus of today’s meeting in California between Volkswagen, the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board was that progress had been made in reaching an agreement on how to deal with 580,000 Volkswagen diesels equipped with pollution-causing defeat devices.

Progress, however, is not a fleshed-out agreement, so the automaker was issued an extension with a firmer deadline and stated penalties as a motivator.

Breyer said that a fix could come in many forms — a mechanical or electronic fix, a buyback of the affected vehicles, or something else. Though he didn’t elaborate on the what that “something else” could be, it could be a reference to a suggestion made at a recent legislative hearing by CARB chief Tod Sax.

Sax said if Volkswagen is unable to bring its older TDI models into environmental compliance (because the modifications needed to do so would be too extensive), an option would be for regulators to “accept less than a full fix.”

If this becomes part of the solution, Volkswagen would have to compensate the state and federal government for the environmental damage from its partially-fixed vehicles. Already, sources have said the automaker is on the process of setting up two large environmental remediation funds.

In addition to the $46 billion U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit, Volkswagen faces continuing criminal investigations in Germany, a fraud case in France, and numerous smaller lawsuits from other jurisdictions and shareholders.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

86 Comments on “Volkswagen Gets a New Diesel Deadline, But There Won’t Be Another...”


  • avatar

    Clean Diesel ranks right up there with “Clean Coal” “free energy” and “cold fusion”. Pie in the sky for those who you can trick into believing it.

    Meanwhile, VW is rollin’ coal.

  • avatar
    NickS

    I expect there will be one more extension, because there is always the tried and true excuse:

    – “Your honor, my dog ate the plan”.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    And the wait goes on for tDI owners, this is dragging out longer the the death of Saab it seems. I like how Calf may accept a partial fix , wonder if that leaves the cars along or some half ass fix that hurts MPG does not fix the issue and hands Calf and the Gov some hush $$$

  • avatar
    brettc

    So it’ll now be 7 months by the time April 21 rolls around. I bet VW will still say they don’t know how to fix it.

    All they are doing is continuing to frustrate and alienate their loyal TDI customers. It’s amazing how little they care about it all.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    The next 4 weeks will be spent huddling with lawyers and accountants, not engineers.

    So much for “German Engineering.”

  • avatar
    montecarl

    I wonder if VW will stick around in Future?

  • avatar
    jonnyanalog

    “Sax said if Volkswagen is unable to bring its older TDI models into environmental compliance (because the modifications needed to do so would be too extensive), an option would be for regulators to “accept less than a full fix.”

    How is this even an option? If they can’t fix the cars then they need to be bought back at fair market value or scrapped. This is how VW got into this in the first place! I guess as long as the government get paid its all good….

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      AFAIK they can be compelled to *offer* buy-backs, but the owners can’t be forced to take them. And I don’t think they want the PR hit that would happen if they did; they’d be painted as monsters screwing individuals who did nothing wrong.

      and they’d be right; people bought these cars on good faith.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        The owners can be forced to accept a buyback if the government refuses to permit their VIN to be registered next year because the car is a menace to society.

        And the same is true if VW magically produces a fix that hurts vehicle performance. All these TDI owners defiantly saying they won’t take their cars in for the fix will be surprised when they learn the government has declared their VIN to be a ‘non-car’, and the vehicle becomes radioactive unless it is crushed or fixed.

        • 0 avatar
          George B

          SCE to AUX, state governments set the rules for vehicle registration, not the federal government. California and other states have considerable leverage force Volkswagen TDI owners to get their cars modified. In contrast, I could see Volkswagen and the EPA coming up with a face-saving, performance-robbing modification that TDI owners outside CARB states choose to avoid.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Your plan is a good one, assuming that you’re more interested in a plan that sounds good than one that actually works.

      Make the solution too costly, and VW will bail out of the US entirely, leaving the feds, the dealers, the folks in Chattanooga and the dealers high and dry. Blood, turnip, etc.

      • 0 avatar
        ExPatBrit

        If the Feds really wanted to play hardball though all the VAG brands could be in jeopardy.

        Can’t see EPA getting away with that though, Porsche owners would probably be the most vocal and effective as they do have a more affluent customer base. Lamborghini, Bugatti and Bentley don’t have the volumes to have much clout.

        There won’t be an official buyback, there likely will be a marketing push to grab the older TDIs for trade in.

        A smaller fine will be negotiated along with some EV credits and only fixes will be made to the newer and 2017 TDIs that already have the correct hardware.

  • avatar
    GTL

    So thinking I might (someday) get an offer from VW to buy back my Passat TDI, I looked at the local dealer’s inventory to see what they had; 3 Golfs. 3 Sportwagens. and 92 Passats.

    I like my Passat and would consider another, but I’ve been wanting a Sportwagen. Why are there so few Golfs, either regular or wagen?

    • 0 avatar
      derekson

      Because people are actually buying them with the discounts, since they are among the best cars in the compact class. The Passat remains long in the tooth and really has no calling card in the midsize sedan class without the diesel engine.

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    So a judge pulls a date out of his ass. That date passes (because it came out of some judge’s ass), and now he pulls another one.

    Is this helping anybody? I understand that it may be a positive career move for the judge, but what about VWoA, TDI owners, and anybody else who happens to breathe air in the US?

    • 0 avatar
      jthorner

      What should the judge say? Fix it if and when you get around to it? VW was lying and cheating for many years. Without a deadline they will just keep doing the same thing.

  • avatar
    EAF

    It took VAG a decade to apply a fix for their ignition coils (while doing their very best to deny warranty claims).

    A serious repair for their diesels, not that plastic tube, should take the better part of a century.

  • avatar
    pdl2dmtl

    Ha… The agony for the tdi ownwers extended. And somewhere in Wolfsburg someone someone asks himself in disbelief:
    “Wir verstehen nicht. Wir bauen hervorragende machinen. Sie benuetzen die schlecht. Warum???”

    Hopefully the judge will not fudge it. VW deserves it.

  • avatar
    hybridkiller

    Owner of one of the affected TDIs here. So much drama. I agree VAG should pay a heavy price for this clusterfvck – and they will. But for owners, this is the very definition of a first-world problem. Of all the multitude of things that keep me awake at night, this is not one of them. Holy crap some people have become such babies. The good news is, if this is high on your list of concerns then you must not have any real problems.

    “The agony for the TDI owners…” ??? Seriously? It’s a CAR for fvck’s sake.

    /rant
    ok, I feel better now…

    • 0 avatar
      ZCD2.7T

      Perspective is not generally appreciated in this modern “woe is me/the sky is falling” world.

      Signed: Fellow TDi owner (with perspective)

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      This whole saga does impact the value of your asset. For example, I’d imagine you would be upset if I bought the house beside your’s, bulldozed it, and propped up a mobile home. It doesn’t actually affect you in any way until you sell the house. This VW saga is exactly the same thing but with your car. Maybe you aren’t planning on selling at the moment, but for anyone that was within the past 6 months, this has been a pain in the butt. You are stuck keeping the car.

      I do agree that agony is a strong word to use, but I wouldn’t completely write it off as inconsequential.

      • 0 avatar
        hybridkiller

        “This whole saga does impact the value of your asset.”

        I know that technically a car can be considered an asset, but I cringe whenever someone generally refers to cars that way – “asset” in some people’s minds is akin to “an investment”, which a car almost never is. For working class people, their car is first and foremost a means of transportation. It’s an “asset” in the same way that your refrigerator is an asset (you own it, it has value). Your house/car analogy isn’t really valid – the house has a better than even chance of appreciating over time, the car and the fridge are guaranteed to depreciate, and do so rather precipitously.

        If this were an issue impacting the car’s driveability, or safety of the occupants, then I would certainly consider it more of a real hardship for owners.

        “I do agree that agony is a strong word to use, but I wouldn’t completely write it off as inconsequential.”

        Never said it was inconsequential to some owners, but in the relative scheme of things it just doesn’t rise to the level of: serious illness or injury/losing a job/getting sued/going through a divorce/etc. You swallow a loss of a few grand in resale value and move on. There will undoubtedly be some class-action cash in addition to the “goodwill” money, so TDI owners will likely end up being (at least partially) compensated in the end.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          no, an “asset” is simply something you own which has value. If a car wasn’t an asset, then you’d never be able to finance one since the car itself is the collateral for the loan.

          • 0 avatar
            hybridkiller

            Evidently you didn’t read my entire comment. Like the part where I said “It’s an “asset” in the same way that your refrigerator is an asset (you own it, it has value).”

            You missed my larger point entirely.

            Real estate is an asset. Equities/bonds/mutual funds are assets. Cash is an asset. Ownership stake in a business is an asset. Your car is an asset. Guess which one of those is guaranteed to depreciate?

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Fixing the cars isn’t possible, so VW is going to pay a fine instead of buying them back ??????

    What bs.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Looks that way and it was probably the intended outcome. Government shakes down VW for cash, gov’t/EPA look like heroes even though they missed this for eight years and the regulations are wrong in the first place, VW gets to stay in business, nobody is actually punished criminally, and cars go on polluting because the amounts they emit do not matter. I truly believe if these things were emitting something truly dangerous they would have simply confiscated them and dealt with citizen lawsuits later.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        C’mon 28, VW isn’t the victim here.

        Other mfr’s diesels meet the rules without cheating.

        It’s not the EPA’s job to police every detail of every mfr’s car performance. The threat of punishment keeps people in line, and this is an excellent example of that policy. Hyundai and Ford have experienced this recently, also, with their MPG ‘mistakes’. Besides, turning the EPA into a Big Brother policing agency would be exceptionally costly.

        I don’t believe these cars will be permitted to stay on the road if they are not fixed. And I’m not sure VW will survive this debacle for more than 5 years into the future.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I argue the impact is small enough there shouldn’t have been new regulation in the first place. If/when diesel sales had reached a certain percentage of market share or registration than sure clamp things down a bit, but that’s not what happened and it probably would have never happened.

          What this is an example of is out of control gov’t on multiple levels creates tens of thousands of statutes and when one is egregiously violated they *have* to respond no matter if it makes budgetary sense or not, otherwise they appear toothless. The whole situation could have been avoided with more reasonable regulations, think of how much money and energy has been spent so far and with no results (nor will any be forthcoming in my view as this won’t be “fixed”).

          “I don’t believe these cars will be permitted to stay on the road if they are not fixed.”

          Nationally I see nothing happening but perhaps in certain states or counties I see either a grandfathered in permanently or a gradual phase out program being put into effect, especially anywhere where you have unreasonable people in political power. What I would like to see in Cali is what I suggested a few weeks ago, as long as registration remain current the TDIs are exempt. However whenever they fall out of registration the title become branded and the car must be exported outside of Cali or junked. Eventually they filter out through attrition and this gets forgotten.

          “I’m not sure VW will survive this debacle for more than 5 years into the future”

          I too am bearish on them, although I think parts of the company will survive in one form or another.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Affirmative action for diesels.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Yes we can.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            The regulations apply to ALL on-road diesel engines. Everything from the 2.0 TDI all the way up to the 15.8 liter Cummins ISX in a Western Star 4900 need DPFs, EGR, and SCR to comply.

            I don’t know why you continually act like the mean ol’ gummint is singling out poor widdle VW. I mean, apart from the fact that they appear to be the only one cheating.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        28, we’ve already covered this. Large fines are necessary because there is no other way to punish the company while deterring others from cheating.

        You constantly complain about the fines, yet you offer no plausible alternative to them.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          his alternative is to not have regulations at all.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Correct, or if we must, to regulate on a more reasonable time frame. Maybe you should view the source to see how intricate these rules happen to be. You can’t legally take an oceangoing vessel within *24 miles* of California coastline after 2010 with anything more than a 0.1% sulfur limit.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Given what has already transpired there is no recourse, however it could have been avoided in the first place with reasonable regulations.

          “Following the identification of diesel particulate matter as a toxic air contaminant (TAC) in 1998, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) developed a comprehensive strategy to control diesel PM emissions. The “Risk Reduction Plan to Reduce Particulate Matter Emissions from Diesel-Fueled Engines and Vehicles”—a document approved by ARB in September 2000—set goals to reduce diesel PM emissions in California by 75% by 2010 and 85% by 2020.”

          https://www.dieselnet.com/standards/us/ca_diesel.php

          75% in ten years time is quite aggressive, it even covers solid waste transport vehicles going back to 1960:

          “The regulation covers MY 1960-2006 engine on-road diesel-fueled heavy-duty residential and commercial solid waste collection vehicles with a GVW rating over 14,000 lbs.”

          Economically, anything older than X year is going to be not cost effective to retrofit so in effect the ARB was giving these munis and private business owners an ultimatum on equipment replacement.

          Perhaps the regulation amounts, or at least the timeline, could be considered unreasonable. Many of the categories involved were fleets in some way and replacement costs in the last decade were ultimately passed on to consumers in the form of higher priced services. However with on road vehicles the cost seems to have been too high and could not be made up with in economies of scale. The ARB however is not cognizant of the cost of it’s demands whether it be a private automaker or a California municipality, and I see this as a problem.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Diesel favoritism for the sake of it makes no sense.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “75% in ten years time is quite aggressive,”

            yet everyone except VW was able to get there.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Today the hate is for diesel, and tomorrow it will be for something else. The real world isn’t black or white, but many shades of grey.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The only shade of gray here is the color of your lungs after exposure to diesel particulates.

            Give me a break. We have pollution controls for vehicles, and there is no good reason to give diesel some sort of handicapped parking space just because it’s dirtier fuel. If the diesel fans don’t want to pay for the cost of the additional smog controls that can make diesel pollution comparable to gasoline (which is already bad enough as is for air quality), then that’s their problem.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @JimZ

            Perhaps your reading skills come in and out but if you read above you’ll notice in the case of solid waste transport trucks they are enforcing regulations back to 1960. They don’t care if now bankrupt San Bernadino County had a working garbage truck from 1975 they had to replace, if your shipping company’s container ship is too expensive to retrofit, or in the case of VWoA, if 25% of your auto sales were TDIs. You either jump through our hoops or we come after you. This is a problem when the hoops are set too high.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Pch and you I have been alive throughout the period of these vehicles non-regulation and now regulation, maybe you do but last I checked I don’t have black lung from the one or two TDIs cruising in my vicinity at any given time. There aren’t enough of these to matter, but diesel does not fit into the grand vision of CARB statists therefore it is to be heavily regulated regardless of economic costs to the real economy.

            CARB has already indicated their goal of 100% ZEV sales by 2050 and already allows a list of TZEV, ZEV, and SULEV vehicles car pool lane access, which grants them favorable road access similar to how a handicapped placard grants favorable parking. The irony of course is ZEV and TZEV vehicles are better designed to sit in traffic and not pollute than their ICE and Diesel counterparts.

            http://www.hybridcars.com/california-green-car-roadmap-2050-26231/

            http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/carpool/carpool.htm

          • 0 avatar
            jkross22

            “Today the hate is for diesel”

            28, It’s not diesel hate that’s the issue…it’s VW cheating and fraud. The PR battle regarding diesel is a separate issue from how VW should be compelled to fix the problem they created. A fine won’t correct the problem, but our government is indicating once again money trumps all.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            28,

            if you can’t resist the urge to repeatedly lead off with insulting my reading skills, I’d appreciate it if you would just not reply to me in the first place.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The affirmative-action-for-diesels argument doesn’t make any more sense now than it did an hour ago.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @jkross

            CARB created the conditions which VWoA finds itself in. The same regulations, as good or bad as they may be, over a longer time line may have completely avoided this scandal in the first place.

            @Jim

            Fair enough.

            @Pch

            Its makes about as much sense as car pool lane access for single drivers in ZEVs.

          • 0 avatar
            Quentin

            I’m sure GM, BMW, Mercedes, etc will be thrilled that they’ve invested $x in the R&D for emissions equipment that meets the current standard to just roll back the standard because VW chose to not invest and meet the standard. You screw everyone that did play by the rules when you bend the rules to help the person cheating. That makes no sense.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The issue isn’t with the know-how, but with the cost.

            The German luxury brands charge enough to pass on the costs of diesel emissions gear to the customer. The VW brand does not and cannot, at least not to US standards and at typical US prices.

            The real issue here is one of externalities: Your average Jetta TDI driver does not want to pay a premium in order to keep pollution out of your lungs. They’re just not that into you, or your health.

          • 0 avatar
            jkross22

            28, CARB set the targets, but didn’t force VW to cheat to hit them. AFAIK, no other passenger car diesel mfg has cheated on emissions testing to hit the same targets.

            I don’t see how blaming CARB for VW’s cheating helps make your point.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @Quentin @Jkross

            Jkross you sound like my mom lol. Generally speaking I find it interesting you both are conditioned to simply conclude “you broke the rules” without ever considering who wrote the “rules” and do the “rules” makes sense.

            Businesses have agendas as do government entities and sometimes they may conflict, but the major difference is a business entity is expected to produce a result or succeed whereas a government entity has no accountability nor does it have any recourse for missing its agenda goals. You could agree with one agenda or another and I hope at least see some of the logic in either, but they are both equally fallible.

          • 0 avatar
            jkross22

            28, your mom sounds like a smart lady, but as much as you find my view of cheating/fraud quaint, I find your characterization of what VW did peculiar. I’m not sure minimizing VW’s fraud by saying the rules weren’t appropriate or fair or implemented on the correct timeframe to be sound reasoning. Mazda supposedly elected to not sell or make a diesel (can’t recall which) because they couldn’t hit emissions standard requirements. To Quentin’s point, other mfgs invested money to make their diesels compliant.

            VW could have chosen to do what Mazda or Merc or BMW did, but thought it more profitable to cheat. And for a while it was.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Good post Jkross.

          • 0 avatar
            Quentin

            @28 – it isn’t being conditioned to say “you broke the rules” that makes me think this is a problem. It is an unethical, unearned business advantage that makes it a problem. Do you think Lance Armstrong still deserves his Tour de France titles? I personally don’t care if people use performance enhancing drugs, but his competitors weren’t using the drugs (well, at least some of them weren’t), and Lance benefited from that. VW financially benefited from not playing on a level field with the other makers that were building diesels.

      • 0 avatar
        Hydromatic

        You’re right on the money. VW isn’t going anywhere. They’ll pay a steep fine, but that’s all that’ll happen.

        The rest of the drama is just sound and fury, signifying nothing.

  • avatar
    Storz

    A partial fix is nothing less than VW paying off CARB and the EPA.The .Govs get their pockets lined and owners of the TDIs get hosed.

  • avatar

    I’ve said it before, but the EPA is known to seize and crush noncompliant cars. If I’d imported my fantasy 959, and didn’t make it conform, it would be seized and I would get a bill.

    VW has figured out that if you sell a bag of drugs, you can go to jail, but if you own a bank than launders stacks of drug money, you will get a fine “without admission of liability” so your private claimants don’t get any help, and won’t miss a single round of golf.

  • avatar
    CincyDavid

    On the subject of the courts, don’t kid yourself…the courts have nothing to do with truth or justice or any other high-minded ideals. It’s theater, and it’s a just a way to force the involved parties to negotiate.

    My recent experience in the courts has reinforced by desire to keep the judicial system OUT of my life whenever possible. I did OK in my particular case, but it took over 2 years to get a trial date on a simple child support modification….and $25k in legal bills.

  • avatar
    GermanReliabilityMyth

    Everyone’s jumping on the bandwagon to pick on Volkswagen because they’re still butthurt over failed window regulators and myriad electric gremlins in their MK4 Jettas and B5 Passats.

    There’s your story, case closed.

    • 0 avatar
      hybridkiller

      Funny that most (all?) of the outrage seems to be from people who don’t actually own one of the affected cars.

      • 0 avatar
        GermanReliabilityMyth

        Now that you mention it, interesting point. All the armchair quarterbacks want to kick out VAG from the US, but they fail to consider the thousands of jobs that would be lost or the inconvenienced people who ACTUALLY own one of their cars.

  • avatar

    I still say VAG should have just bought back every one of these cars at full sticker. Paid a few fines and been done with it. Ship every dealer a new gas engine for them and rip off the TDI badges. At least they would recover some of their losses. Instead, they seem committed to drag this thing out until every Tom, Dick and Harry has sued them.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “I still say VAG should have just bought back every one of these cars at full sticker.”

      That’s an easy thing to say if you don’t bother doing the math.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        If VAG drags this out long enough, TDI VWs will only be worth around $895 retail, each. Although the solution/settlement may be a number of “fixes”, including some fines, actual re-flashed SCR cars, partial buyback of older TDIs, plus various hybrid and electric VWs, by 2025.

        • 0 avatar

          Bingo. Every day this drags on, cars drop. Some get wrecked like mine, others wear out…delay only saves them money….it is like why insurance companies don’t like “pre judgment interest”…they’d rather pay out the policy limit two years from now than now. VW is no different. The buy back on your 100k mile car is less than the same car at 50k. If forced to buy back, VW won’t be giving you the bottom line of your sale papers, that much is sure, and every day probably saves a million dollars…

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            nonsense. the more they delay, the more EPA and CARB are incentivized to ratchet up the fines.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            No, the risk of driving VW out of the market entirely, and all of the job losses and orphaned owners that would entail, are going to constrain what the feds are willing to do.

            Marchionne played poker with NHTSA over the Jeep fuel tanks and won. Achieving a compromise after Marchionne put up a fight was so important to DOT that Ray LaHood personally met with Marchionne in secret in order to cut a deal that was far cheaper and less effective than what the agency originally wanted.

            No, VW has no choice but to fight, since the cars can’t be fixed. The price can only get lower.

            And CARB has already hinted at its willingness to compromise.

            http://www.reuters.com/article/us-california-volkswagen-repairs-idUSKCN0WB05H

      • 0 avatar
        hybridkiller

        “That’s an easy thing to say if you don’t bother doing the math.”

        He may have done the math, problem is he only did it for the ~half million US TDIs. He needs to do it for ~11 million cars globally. THAT’S a lot of freaking Euros.

      • 0 avatar
        jthorner

        “That’s an easy thing to say if you don’t bother doing the math.”

        Let’s do the math then. 580,000 units times $30,000 per unit = $17.4B. The US DOJ has already said that the applicable fines are on the order of $48B. So far VW has set aside about $7B in reserves to deal with this set of problems.

        All things considered, the costs of a 100% buyback are on the same order as the other elements of this situation are likely to cost.

        The one upside of a quick vehicle buyback would have been goodwill with the owners, especially if instead of a cash buy back they had elected to take delivery of a new gasoline, hybrid or electric VW.

        You and I have had this disagreement in earlier threads on the VW issue. My point is that sometimes going big with the solution to a problem is actually less costly long term than is trying to “manage” the costs. VW has continued to try and “manage” these costs instead of taking a big dose of medicine and humble pie straight away. It may well end up killing the brand in the US and financially crippling the company for a decade.

        On the European market side of things, apparently the European governments have already rolled over and accepted VW’s “air flow straightener” and software tweak fix. VW has a lot of pull in Europe …

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          no, the POTENTIAL fines are on the order of $48bn.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          I can only presume that you’ve never done business with the government or been involved in major negotiations.

          You also seem to be blissfully unaware of how much money that really is.

        • 0 avatar
          NickS

          @jthorner
          Even more to your point, if the buyback or trade-in was not at full sticker for the older cars (and more in line with their FMV in Sept 2015), that overall cost goes down further. Not peanuts but not the end of VW.

          Buybacks would also neutralize much litigation. Whatever fines are imposed are par for the course.

          And let’s not forget, many owners of the newer cars that have all the hardware would be okay with a reflash and some cash or perks (goodwill 2.0 perhaps?). Dragging this on for so long is only ensuring that all TDIs have forever damaged reputation (even those that get fixes and become compliant). Some subset of those nearly 600,000 affected VAG owners were planning to sell their car eventually, and tainting those people’s cars by ignoring the issue is one sure fire way to alienate yet one more generation of owners. There is a long track record there.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            A VW owner class action would yield a fraction of the cost of a buyback program. They have little to claim other than some lost resale value, which won’t be more than a fraction of the cost of a buyback. So no, that isn’t a good reason to do it, either.

        • 0 avatar
          hybridkiller

          I know that some people view the US as the center of the universe, but what part of “11 million affected vehicles” don’t they understand?

          News flash: European countries have civil courts too.

          Somebody needs to do the math again.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            hybridkiller,

            The problem with your maths is that VW didn’t break any laws in the EU, and they haven’t been charged with anything. They hurt some feelings, granted. The EU is much less litigious than the US, so the best-case outcome of a class action suit would be an earnest-sounding apology letter.

            Things aren’t so cut and dried in the US either. VW has been accused of using an undeclared defeat device. Undeclared being the key word. All automakers use declared defeat devices, and that’s OK. The EPA knows that cars pollute more during cold starts, or at full throttle, etc.

            VW did more defeating than most (allegedly), but it’s a matter of degrees, not absolutes. The case, if it ever gets to court, will not be a slam dunk for the EPA.

          • 0 avatar
            hybridkiller

            http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/23/business/international/volkswagen-diesel-car-scandal.html?_r=0

            “…VW didn’t break any laws in the EU, and they haven’t been charged with anything.”

            The fact that they violated EPA regs in the US (and their subsequent mea culpa) has merely opened the door for civil action against them. Other governments are conducting their own investigations as we speak. VAG has voluntarily assumed responsibility for addressing the ~11 million cars because it is clear (to them) that this is more than just a US market problem. If you really believe that the substantial monetary ramifications of this mess don’t extend well beyond US borders, I don’t know what to tell you other than the fact that industry analysts, every major media channel that has reported on this, and VAG themselves disagree with you.

            FWIW, I was really just reacting to the absurd suggestion that some sort of buyback at full sticker price isn’t nonsense – which of course it is.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            “Other governments are conducting their own investigations as we speak.”

            And they have been for the past 7 months, with nothing to show for it.

            You fail to consider the fact that non-conformity with EPA regulations is not illegal in Europe, just like it isn’t illegal to sell a car in the US that doesn’t conform to all EU regulations.

          • 0 avatar
            hybridkiller

            The issue of civil liability, and by extension appeasing their customer base, is not contingent on criminal or regulatory violations. When VAG admitted to cheating, they all but guaranteed a strong and viable class action.

            I’m sure you understand that a case in civil court is about demonstrating a quantifiable loss by the plaintiff. (Punitive awards are a separate issue and the likelihood of an out-of-court settlement makes that a moot point.)
            In this instance the claim is a loss of FMV of the vehicle. That claim (by VAG’s own admissions) is just as valid in Europe as it is in the US.

            http://www.dw.com/en/vw-faces-biggest-ever-lawsuit-in-europe/a-18977471

            I agree that Europeans may be less inclined toward frivolous lawsuits than US citizens, but I seriously doubt that they would sit idly by and not demand equal compensation to what US owners are offered.

            I truly don’t understand why anyone would think that VAG could get away with compensating a half million US customers while simultaneously ignoring 10 million EU customers with the same complaint.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            hybridkiller,

            That article states that “VW could be looking at some 10 million euros ($10.9 million) in punitive damages.”
            That’s the upside from a lawyer who’s trying to drum-up business, so the actual amount would probably be lower.

            It also states that “his Düsseldorf-based law firm filed the collective lawsuit in the Netherlands, because German law doesn’t allow for such class actions.”

            That should tell you something about the difference between civil suits in the US and in the EU.

          • 0 avatar
            hybridkiller

            I have to believe that “10 million euros” is a typo or a screw-up in the German-English translation. With 60,000 participants that would be 167 Euros each, which of course would be silly. I’m sure they meant to say 10 billion.

            My purpose in posting that link was simply to show you that VAG IS facing civil liability from customers in Europe – NOT to suggest that the legal mechanics are the same as in the US.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Defeat devices are illegal in the EU, too, although it’s possible that what constituted a defeat device under US law did not meet the EU definition.

            Getting the cars to comply with EU regulations is also a lower bar to hurdle, given that Euro 5 allowed for much higher NOx emissions than what are legal in the US.

            Still, one of the reasons that it behooves VW to delay bad news in the US is to avoid providing ammo to parties outside of the US. Bad news from one region can morph into problems elsewhere.

  • avatar
    balreadysaid

    It’s a joke since this has been a known issue. The powers that be should never have let a car the size of a 4×4 quad be sold that produces soot by the #.

    The diesel engine isn’t any good with what is strapped to it. Too many rig drivers are complaining to me about new rigs and how they run. I see many new diesel pickups, GM diesels more than others right now having issues. Why bother with problems? If you need it buy a diesel. Otherwise don’t support the nonsense they are throwing on people. The less demand for it the less they push the bullshit. I want a diesel, colorado, ram, etc.. Not worth it right now. Better off buying a gas job in anything. Save on the cheaper fuel and let the spa make laws that don’t effect you. Screw vw. To push your diesel and have it not comply. While profiting big money. Very scummy if you ask me.

  • avatar
    JonBoy470

    Even before this controversy, TDI’s had no plausible “Eco friendly” play as is seen with Hybrids and EV’s, that induced people to buy them, cost be damned. There’s also no overriding functional requirement, as there is with commercial trucks. All they had was a lower operating cost that offset the higher upfront price of the car within the first few years of ownership. That was the entire TDI value proposition, and the EPA/CARB crackdown on diesels, starting about a decade ago, would have blasted that value proposition to hell if they’d *honestly* met the new regs.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Alex L. Dykes, United States
  • Kamil Kaluski, United States
  • Seth Parks, United States
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Kyree Williams, United States

Get No-holds-barred, take-no-prisoners Automotive News in your Facebook Feed!

Already Liked