By on April 21, 2016

Volkswagen Wolfsburg

Embattled automaker Volkswagen reached a long-awaited settlement deal in principle with regulators this morning in a California courtroom.

Before presiding judge Charles Breyer, Volkswagen agreed to buy back afflicted diesel models from U.S. buyers, while compensating their owners from a newly created fund. The automaker would accept early termination on leased models, and fix some vehicles if requested by owners.

According to USA Today, the deal would include “substantial compensation” for owners of 2.0-liter TDI models involved in the diesel emissions scandal. Tens of thousands of 3.0-liter V6 engines were also equipped with an emissions law-skirting defeat device, but those models are not included in the settlement.

The settlement was reached in principle with the Environmental Protection Agency, California Air Resources Board, and California attorney general’s office.

In addition to compensating consumers, Volkswagen will set up an environmental remediation fund to offset the environmental impact of the vehicles, which polluted up to 40 times the allowable limit starting in 2009. The fund will be used to promote green automotive initiatives, such as building electric charging stations.

The Federal Trade Commission, which filed a lawsuit against Volkswagen over their misleading “clean diesel” ad campaign, is said to support the deal.

Breyer set a June 21 deadline for all parties to file preliminary proposals on the settlement, with a preliminary hearing set for July 26. Some of the negotiations that will occur before July 26 will be confidential, Road & Track reports.

The automaker issued a statement in the wake of the settlement:

“Volkswagen is committed to earning back the trust of its customers, dealers, regulators and the American public.  These agreements in principle are an important step on the road to making things right.  As noted today in court, customers in the United States do not need to take any action at this time.”

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19 Comments on “Volkswagen to Buy Back or Fix Diesels, Compensate Owners and Environment...”

  • avatar


  • avatar
    Testacles Megalos

    My diesel Jetta…Finally I found the first car I really liked in 40 years. Now even though it spews less that any pickemup truck or SUV, it’s time to go because VW lied. What a shame. This is not about greenism or anything like this, it’s about corporate greed and governmental vindictiveness intersecting.

    The right answer would have been to have VW pay off the diesel owners the premium we paid over the gas engine model to compensate for the loss of value, and jail VW’s Board and corner office staff like we do marijuana users under the Clinton laws.

    If any gov’t or society was really serious about reducing polution, I’d be able to look out my office window and see a bunch of pedestrians, cyclists, streetcars, and small Ford Ka-esque sized cars. Instead I look out and see lots of pickups, vans, SUVs, and large sedans on the streets, most of which I’d bet are hauling around one or two humanoids at best. Messing with our cars and enrichening the trial att’ys doesn’t help the atmosphere to any meaningful degree, and it is now just another business expense for VW.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Most TDI drivers like their cars; that doesn’t matter.

      “…it is now just another business expense for VW”: Sure, with the potential to bankrupt the company, or certainly usher in a slow death.

      The government is serious about reducing pollution – do you remember the choking breathing hazards that existed until the early 1980s? Technology has enabled that to disappear, but VW chose not to play along for the last decade.

    • 0 avatar

      I know I am late to this story but I couldn’t agree more. There are many examples of car companies cheating to meet standards. Be it safety, fuel economy or emissions. Ask Mitsubishi about fuel economy numbers that were fudged for years. Ask Ford F-150 Ecoboost owners how often they see fuel economy even close to the sticker. Look at the millions of cars with deadly airbags. That can kill you. And yet we choose to save most of our collective vitriol for cars that generally drive well, are safe and can easily break 40 mpg on the highway. My 2012 TDI Sportwagen was a great car. I a m guessing that NOX emissions from VW TDIs is not at the forefront of this nation’s diesel emissions. Think about the big trucks hauling freight around this country and even the heavy duty diesel pickups that don’t have to meet the same level of “cleanliness” that the VWs do. It is a small drop in a very large bucket. The fix should be to do what they can to lower emission without destroying drivability. Then leave the cars on the road. Give owners a couple of thousand bucks to keep them happy. In a few years most of the TDIs will be out of the rotation.

  • avatar

    I own a 2012 Golf TDI – in Canada. I expect something like this in Canada.

    I don’t want to lose this car. I love it. I want to chip it, man up some of the suspension bits. License plate ZFG GTD.

    Reuters broke the story last night.

  • avatar

    “The fund will be used to promote green automotive initiatives, such as building electric charging stations” in other words, the money will be used to line the pockets of key campaign donors who will then provide symbolic efforts to appease the green at any cost crowd.

    • 0 avatar

      ^^ This. There should be no doubt as to where fines for emissions violations will go. I’m not against the fines but, geez, from one deep pocket to another…

  • avatar

    7 billion (source USA today) seems awfully cheap. I don’t think they took the third party market value into very serious consideration. Here in Oregon TDI’s are still vastly more expensive and coveted vs the 2.0.

  • avatar

    2014 Passat TDI owner here. Curious to see just what they will offer me in terms of a buy back. What I paid for the car? What it was worth prior to the scandal?

    • 0 avatar

      My understanding is you will get what your car was worth before the scandal hit, the other issue is TDI’s had a pretty high use car value, not sure how much of that is factored in by KBB … The issue is for everyone who says buy it back at what you paid sticker is what do you do with the folks who but a 09 golf TDI for 10K last year, give him 23 K back. I am surprised that ad blue cars will be bought back as I thought a “flash ” would fix them. The devil is in the details but we will see what they offer.

      • 0 avatar

        Yeah I don’t think that for older models the buy it back at original selling price makes any sense and most owners would not expect to have driven a car 100K and sell it for what they paid for it. Plus as you mention why should a person who bought it used get an even bigger windfall.

        They will calculate a pre-scandal value, throw the bonus money on top and call it good for the majority of the cars. Now for those people who purchased in the weeks or a couple of months before the scandal broke I can see them getting MSRP, plus a time and trouble bonus, or maybe a bigger discount on a new VW.

  • avatar

    Time to buy a junk 2005 Jetta tdi just so VW can “compensate” you?

  • avatar

    I think before you go rushing out to buy a 09 keep in mind you would more than likely need to own it before the scandal broke.

  • avatar

    Jaguar XE diesel starts at $37k…

  • avatar

    my understanding from reading various press releases is that the buyback is based on estimated Sept 2015 value.

    if you bought it new in Aug 2015 you would still have lost the depreciation. that’s probably what the additioanl compensation is for.

    not sure if passats with scr will be any different than golf/jetta with just the nox filter. a reflash might make them compliant but it might also bring epa mileage estimates or horsepower estimates below stated values which could be perceived as fraud. passats may be bought back too.

  • avatar

    Pretty clear the fix isn’t easy, or cheap, or won’t dramatically impact vehicle performance and/or reliability.

    If all of these boxes were checked, they wouldn’t have cheated in the first place.

  • avatar

    So I am reading somewhat conflicting reports (and I realize at this point its all speculation) but some sources are saying buyback at 2015 FMV + 5000 cash, other places I’ve read says VW has set aside 1 billion to compensate owners which works out to about 2k per person (assuming ~480k 2.0 cars)

    Wonder which is correct?

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