Volkswagen Might Pay Every U.S. Diesel Owner $5,000 to Avoid a Trial

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

On the eve of a key U.S. deadline for a diesel emissions fix, Volkswagen has reportedly agreed to pay all American owners of afflicted TDI models $5,000 each.

The deal, reported by Germany’s Die Welt newspaper, would allow the automaker to avoid going to trial this summer, according to Automotive News.

Volkswagen was facing an April 21 deadline to outline a comprehensive fix for the 580,000 U.S. diesel models equipped with “ defeat devices” designed to sidestep emissions regulations. The deadline was set in March by a U.S. District Court judge.

Any fix would have to satisfy the Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board, either by fixing the vehicles, buying them back, offsetting their pollution, or a combination of tactics.

The EPA hasn’t commented on the supposed deal, which would cost $2.9 billion for the customer payouts alone. Last month, the automaker was said to be in talks to create two large environmental remediation funds designed to offset emissions from its diesel vehicles.

The news of a payout follows a Reuters report that Volkswagen is planning to increase the amount of cash set aside to deal with the financial fallout of the scandal. Already, the automaker has 6.7 billion euros ($7.6 billion) in its emergency fund, but the latest move would push the pile well into the double-digit billions.

Analysts have estimated that Volkswagen’s tally of costs could hit 30 billion euros ($33.9 billion), and predict that Volkswagen’s fourth-quarter earnings from 2015 (due to be released on April 28) could see a 70 percent drop.

The Reuters report also stated that Volkswagen was resisting efforts from U.S. consumers (serving as plaintiffs) to settle the matter in court, instead hoping to reach a deal with regulators.

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Mustang462002 Mustang462002 on Apr 20, 2016

    2013 TDI owner here. Love my car no complaints. I've kept receipts for 60,000 diesel purchases because of the HPFF failures. The DPF failure has pushed me over the top on this car. Will dump as soon as possible. I knew about the HPFF failures when I bought it but I liked the torque and mileage. I also though this was rare and it was worth the risk. I really don't care for the emissions thing. I see it as crappy goverment regulators. Why should I be compensated for this? Compensate me for DPF failures!

    • See 1 previous
    • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Apr 20, 2016

      MMR projected the MY10s I was screwing around with to be worth 25% of what they were worth at the start of the crisis by March 2017. Run yours till the wheels fall off because come next year they will only be giving you like 4K on trade. The 5,000 Bennie bux from VAG won't even cover this year's 50% value drop in most cases, let alone the total devaluation.

  • CecilSaxon CecilSaxon on Apr 20, 2016

    I know new purchases of used vehicles are pretty much out of the running for such programs but I was thinking with prices depressed the way they are a TDi would be a pretty good deal right now.

  • Vulpine My first pickup truck was a Mitsubishi Sport... able to out-accelerate the French Fuego turbo by Renault at the time. I really liked the brand back then because they built a model for every type of driver, including the rather famous 300/3000GT AWD sports car (a car I really wanted, but couldn't afford.)
  • Vulpine A sedan version of either car makes it no longer that car. We've already seen this with the Mustang Mach-E and almost nobody acknowledges it as a Mustang.
  • Vulpine Not just Chevy, but GM has been shooting itself in the foot for the last three decades. They've already had to be rescued once in that period, and if they keep going as they are, they will need another rescue... assuming the US govt. will willing to lose more money on them.
  • W Conrad Sedans have been fine for me, but I were getting a new car, it would be an SUV. Not only because less sedans available, but I can't see around them in my sedan!
  • Slavuta More hatchbacks