Volkswagen to Buy Back or Fix Diesels, Compensate Owners and Environment

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
volkswagen to buy back or fix diesels compensate owners and environment

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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2 of 19 comments
  • APaGttH APaGttH on Apr 21, 2016

    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.

  • Storz Storz on Apr 22, 2016

    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?

  • Cprescott I remember when Fords were affordable.
  • Cprescott As a once very LOYAL FORD buyer, I had to replace my 22 year old Ford (bought new in 1997) once it finally started to have problems at 180k miles. I would have gladly purchased something like this from Ford but they abandoned me as a car buyer. Oddly, Hyundai still builds cars in a variety of flavors so I became a customer of theirs and am very happy. Likely will consider another once this one gets up in mileage.
  • SCE to AUX A friend once struck a mounted tire that was laying flat in the middle of her lane on the PA Turnpike. She was in a low late-90s Grand Prix, and the impact destroyed the facia, core support, radiators, oil pan, transmission, subframe, and suspension. They fixed it all.
  • Dukeisduke Lol, it's not exactly a Chevrolet SS with Holden badging.
  • Dukeisduke Years ago, I was driving southbound along North Central Expressway (south of Mockingbird Lane, for locals), and watched a tire and wheel fall out of the bed of a pickup (no tailgate), bounce along, then centerpunch the front end of a Honda Accord. It wasn't pretty.