Report: Taxpayers Paid $20.7 Million For 'Clunker' Volkswagen Diesels

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole

Justin Hyde at Yahoo Autos has fine, fine reporting that U.S. taxpayers paid more than $20 million in incentives for Volkswagen diesel models under the “Cash for Clunkers” program.

According to the report, 4,599 VW Jetta and Jetta Sportwagen diesel cars qualified for the maximum $4,500 incentive under the program. Those cars were equipped with a 2-liter turbocharged diesel engine that the Environmental Protection Agency said used an illegal defeat device to cheat emissions.

The Yahoo report follows a report by the L.A. Times that shows that more than $51 million was paid to Volkswagen by the U.S. for now-bogus “green” claims.

The 2009 “Cash for Clunkers” program, which offered $3 billion in incentives for new, more fuel-efficient cars, has consistently been under fire as critics have attacked the program’s efficacy and necessity to pull the economy out of its recession.

If substantiated, Volkswagen could be on the hook for some, all or more of that $70 million in total incentives because it’s clear that the feds are really mad this time.

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18 of 64 comments
  • Raph Raph on Sep 25, 2015

    Oh man I wonder what will pop up on my FB feed from the concerned VW fan about this. Already I've seen a crop of owner testimonials about how they aren't sure about these "claims" being made about how VW "might" have cheated the EPA's mandated tests but they sure are glad to tell me how their Volkswagen saved their lives in a bad accident even if they pollute more. I'm undecided if its actually an earnest if misguided attempt by VW fans at damage control or an actual back channel attempt by VW to change opinion on the matter.

  • Redav Redav on Sep 26, 2015

    As noted above, C4C was about fuel economy & oil consumption only. Emissions don't factor into that. But what about the cars traded in? Old cars don't meet modern emissions requirements. Were those cars worse than these VWs? I agree with the implied accusation that TTAC published 'another VW article' just to pile on another angle on today's hot topic and generate traffic. I don't see this as newsworthy. I don't see it as "truth."

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    • JohnTaurus JohnTaurus on Sep 26, 2015

      RIGHT! Except for the fact that the cars were illegaly modified by their manufacturer, so they shouldnt have been sold in the first place. Lets just ignore that and pretend its all okay because of all the MILLIONS of 1972 LTDs out there polluting right now! Anything to deflect from VWs intentional breaking of the law.

  • Wheatridger Wheatridger on Sep 26, 2015

    Aaron, I know you're groping for the most insulting headlines possible, because what else is this site for? But simple logic puts the lie to this one. The "clunkers" involved in the program were the old cars being traded in and scrapped, not the new cars being subsidized. I know, I know-- what do facts have to do with a snappy headline?

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    • Ryoku75 Ryoku75 on Sep 27, 2015

      @JohnTaurus If it were Toyota or Buick Id have the same attitude, this whole thing says more about current online journalism than VW. You never did say why you hate VW so much, did one nick your Taurus? I thought car enthusiasm was about enjoying cars, not stalking people and raging against a company you have no stake in.

  • Seth1065 Seth1065 on Sep 26, 2015

    I know get all these dirty TDI's off the road and give everyone who was duped a Hellcat , I am shocked VW did not try to woo BTR as their new CEO, he knows all.