By on May 25, 2016

Volkswagen TDI

Owners of 2.0-liter Volkswagen diesels will have to wait a little longer before learning exactly when their rolling pariahs will leave their driveways.

The automaker is on track to meet a June 21 settlement deadline, a federal judge stated yesterday, but details on the wildly expensive U.S. buyback and compensation program won’t be made public just yet.

Volkswagen has until that date to submit a written proposal to U.S. authorities and regulators. Preliminary approval of the plan, rumored to cost more than $10 billion, could come at a July 26 hearing.

What can owners expect in terms of compensation cash? And when are all of those Golfs, Jettas and Passats heading to the afterlife? Stay tuned. Specifics of the plan to remove the 480,000 heavily polluting vehicles from the road remain confidential until the deal is completed.

U.S. District judge Charles Breyer reminded Volkswagen that a buyback program, owner compensation, and environmental remediation fund must be part of the settlement.

The automaker already has a pact with federal and state regulators for the environmental fund, which aims to offset the excess pollution emitted by the company’s vehicles since 2009.

A settlement for a class-action lawsuit should come within a few weeks, and a plan to fix 85,000 3.0-liter diesels will be announced soon, the company said. That fix is expected to be done through software upgrades and (possibly) a catalytic converter replacement.

In total, Volkswagen set aside $18.2 billion to manage the fallout of the scandal.

[Source: Bloomberg]

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50 Comments on “Volkswagen Settlement Nears; Start Planning that Goodbye Party for Your Dirty Diesel...”


  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Das Clean Diesel!

    (And one could say “Das Clean Coal,” too, while they’re at it.)

  • avatar
    Storz

    Can’t wait! I listed my ’12 TDI for sale locally the week before the news of the cheating broke.

  • avatar
    brettc

    I’m anxiously awaiting what exactly is meant by “substantial compensation”. But I still have to wait another month for that.

    Going to check out some potential replacement cars this weekend. Good thing gas is cheap and no one wants efficient cars at the moment because I do.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Check out the Fusion Energi. It seems you can get a loaded Titanium for under $20K all day long. My best friend has one, and his ownership costs are ridiculously low.

      Like you, I’m also likely to replace my car with something comparably efficient.

      • 0 avatar
        brettc

        I’m thinking about the C-Max hybrid (not the Energi version). I currently have a 2012 Jetta wagon and hate the uselessness of sedans. The C-Max seems to be similar in size to the Golf and would get similar or better fuel economy than what I’m seeing now.

        I’m finding CPO ex-rentals in the $18-19000 range for a loaded 2015 SEL, so it’s worth checking into. Too bad Ford has kind of let the C-Max wither on the vine.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          I agree. I like the C-Max.

        • 0 avatar
          HotPotato

          As a longtime VW guy who bought a Ford C-Max Hybrid, I think you’ll like it. It’s just like a v-dub in all the good ways (drives with precision and refinement, ample HP & torque, quality interior materials)…and the bad ones (some dubious engineering and assembly choices)…with a couple of bonuses that make everyday driving a greater pleasure (roomy feel, 360 degree visibility, ultra-smooth eCVT, 38+ mpg even in the city). I’m as dubious of Ford’s long-term quality as I am of VW’s, but hybrids are EPA mandated to have a super long power train warranty (100k mi, or 150k in California), so that’s reassuring. Plus, parts & service seem a little more reasonably priced, and there’s a good owners community online. First-year (2013) models lack a couple of aero doodads that boosted MPG, but also have slightly sportier gearing.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      “…good thing gas is cheap…”

      Don’t worry, gasoline will be close to or over $3.00/gallon on a national average basis very soon.

      You see, in a completely manipulated economy, where monetary policy “wizards” need to target a pre-set “policy” goal, they’ll be fine with commodity traders and producers absolutely illegally colluding to drive prices in particular directions so long as it’s in a direction the monetary wizards want to be able to fit their narrative – Machiavellian style.

      In the meantime, crude oil of every type literally runneth over, with bulk oil cargo ships nearly permanently anchored offshore, with misplace to deposit their hold.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        This, and I’ve been saying something similar since last year.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          It’s a presidential election cycle year, so rest assured that The Ministry of “Truthiness” 5th Estate Main Stream Media will report of fact/figures/random-a$$-statements spoon fed to them in the most upward bias skewing, positive light imaginable, unfiltered and rarely-if-ever scrutinized or examined independently.

          There’s no “dig deep” or “verify” anymore.

          As long as it sounds good, feels good and most importantly, fits the narrative, just echo chamber it.

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Doctor

      If VW offers any kind of incentive if you give them your TDI in exchange for another VW you might want to look at the Jetta Hybrid it gets 42 city/48 highway.

      Given that it isn’t a popular model and that VW dealers are hurting for business they might be willing to do a deal.

      • 0 avatar
        brettc

        Unfortunately I have no interest in the Jetta hybrid since it’s a sedan. I would be interested in a Golf hybrid but of course they don’t exist over here (and the E-Golf definitely wouldn’t work for me). If the deal is good enough to stay with VW I might end up in another Golf (either regular Golf, Sportwagen or GTI).

      • 0 avatar
        TheDoctorIsOut

        Screw that, I’ve had my lifetime fill of cars that would bring smiles to a Puritan elder. When VW buys back my faithful but apparently murderous TDI wagon, that cash is going down on a Mustang GT, no eco-weenie EcoBoost or e-anything for me anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      notwhoithink

      I’ve been assuming for quite some time that it will be pre-scandal FMV (aka, third party value) + some amount of cash. Lots of rumors were going around before the April deadline that it was going to involve a $5000 payout for each of the 482k owners. Doing the math there, I’ve got a 2013 Jetta Premium TDI that had about 48k miles back in September. I was actually in the market to sell it at the time, so I know the KBB third party value was $18k-$18.5, which would put my total buyback around $23k-23.5k.

      So working back from the $18.2 billion price tag…

      There are 11 million cars affected, assume 10,518,000 can be fixed for $400/each (based on what we were hearing out of Europe), so deduct that. Take around $3 billion off the top for lawyers fees and EPA-mandated environmental cleanup funds. That leaves around $11 billion for the buybacks and customer compensation, which comes out to an average of about $22,800 per vehicle.

      Knowing that affected vehicles will range from MY2009 to MY2015, that makes the “average” affected vehicle a MY2012. Assuming that TDI drivers tend to log more miles than average (I’ll go with 18k/year) then the “average” affected vehicle is a MY2012 that had 54k miles on it as of September. That puts my car as a little newer than average and a little lower mileage than average, so I’d expect a payout that is just a bit north of the average.

      Obviously this is very, very fuzzy math. If you have a breakdown by model then you can unfuzz some of it by accounting for the higher value vehicles from Audi and Porsche, but I suspect that those numbers are small enough that they don’t skew the average numbers a whole lot.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        The buyback only involves the vehicles with the 2.0-liter TDI engines, so that’s just the previous A3 from Audi and nothing from Porsche. The 3.0-liter TDI V6 vehicles are supposed to be fixed.

      • 0 avatar
        brettc

        I had just under 40000 miles on mine as of September 12, the last time I fueled it before the scandal broke (yay for Fuelly’s records). Hopefully that means a decent buyback price for my car at least. It’ll be interesting to see their proposal and how it accounts for people that rack up a ton of mileage, which is a good chunk of TDI drivers.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    On one hand, I wonder how Volkswagen could force me to fix or turn in my diesel when we don’t do emissions testing in this state. On the other hand, while I’m no eco-warrior, I do have a problem with selfishly driving a vehicle that contributes exponentially more than its fair share of pollution when I could drive something else. If the fix is really bad—and it must be, since they haven’t yet released it—and they offer a good buyout, I’ll turn mine in.

    But there will probably be a market for unmolested “Clean Diesel” Volkswagen vehicles, especially my car, which was offered in TDI form for only five or six months before the scandal was unveiled, and so is comparatively rare.

    • 0 avatar
      Storz

      VW won’t force you to have to do anything, your state will simply block registration of the vehicle and you’ll be left with a paperweight or track toy

    • 0 avatar
      NickS

      @Kyree – You’d be better off to do some really good research on electric and hybrid propulsion options if vw lets you take your money elsewhere (and not knowing your lifestyle the switch to a car with batteries might be a non-starter). Otherwise their Golf offering might be your best bet.

      All I am saying is, don’t think about a speculative bet on the value of an unmolested TDI and how you could profit from it. Based on your track record here, I don’t think that’s your style. It’s not you.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        You’re right, and thank you for the compliments. I certainly wouldn’t violate the environment just to make a few bucks. But I was observing that such a market will probably surface.

  • avatar
    Testacles Megalos

    Heavily Polluting? Wasn’t it on these very pages where it pointed out that a diesel pickup churns more pollutants when running legally than the illegal VW cars? Most of those pickups are also driven by just one person, satisfying the same need to move from Point A to Point B.

    These are hardly heavy polluters compared to what else is on the road. Those of us who spring the extra $7k for diesel vs. gas -for whatever reason – were deceived by VW. And ultimately the cars don’t meet the letter of the law. On those two counts something action is warranted.

    But to pull them for being “heavy polluters” ….well there are a lot of more obvious places to start cleaning up the world.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      ” Wasn’t it on these very pages where it pointed out that a diesel pickup churns more pollutants when running legally than the illegal VW cars? ”

      if it was, the pointer-outer was wrong.

      “well there are a lot of more obvious places to start cleaning up the world.”

      it’s incredibly lazy thinking to believe we can only work on one thing at a time.

      • 0 avatar
        Testacles Megalos

        Agree. A $10/gallon private vehicle fuel tax to fund public transport, and new laws assigning automatic fault to the larger of two collidants would go a long ways towards reducing the public’s desire to move carbon in the ground to carbon in the air. And it wouldn’t make ownership and use of my old cars illegal.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          So, I need a payday. Guess Ill go buy a $600 Geo Metro, call The General or whatever for basic liability insurance and then go plow it into the nearest Chevy Traverse full of children on its way to soccer practice. Automatically mom’s fault and its all thanks to you! Just make that check out to “cash” please. No? See you in court, Judge Judy will award me whatever I want when she sees that mom was at fault. Add legal fees to the payout, whydonchya.

          Oh if we only lived in the idealistic fantasy world you Bernie supporters seem to think is attainable by forcing idiotic laws upon the people. “Well, I drive a Prius, so lets punish those who have the audacity to make choices I don’t agree with. We can regulate them to death!”

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Need a $600 car with a better crash rating if you’d like to pick up your check still breathing and in good shape.

          • 0 avatar
            Testacles Megalos

            In fact, you are wrong on this count. I favor a benevolent dictatorship because most people are incapable of independent self-interest. Also, to ensure that the dictatorship remains benevolent, mandatory side arms.
            And so it is with people allowed to drive large things. Unless they are afraid of smaller things, they are completely irresponsible. Do you really think you in your YuppyFeelGoodAboutMyGreenCar Pruis are going to find soccer moms in Suburbans to cash in on, when everybody knows the risks? That’s not regulation by bureaucratic dictat, it’s regulation by fear of consequence of basic actions, the only kind that human history shows to work.
            By the way, one of you guys in a Volvo mowed me down one day when I was riding in a bike-and-bus-only lane. Fractured skull, etc… but here I am. Was the driver cited for driving in a non-legal lane? Nope. I had no case. I stand by my proposal.
            I do believe I’ll take VW’s buyout of my diesel 2.0 liter, and go buy a diesel 4WD pickup. Sounds fun. No big savings, few assetts, and no liability insurance …..bring it on with your Pruis.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            The General auto insurance commercials are nearly uniformly awful, but I desperstely miss the one with the child with HUGE cans.

            They actually took that commercial off the air because they received so many complaints that it was “sexist-”

            What, exactly, is sexist about a commercial featuring an attractive woman with full, beautiful breasts?

            When did the human race get so ridiculously & unnaturally sensitive about the human form?

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            ***FOR THE RECORD – F*CK AUTOCORRECT

            “CHILD” ABOVE IS SUPPOSED TO BE “CHICK”

            A simple mispelling and autocorrect goes insanely perverse

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            The problem with benevolent dictators is that the only people capable of sticking to the “benevolent” part would uniformly refuse to take the job in the first place.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          If you’re so gawdarn opposed to “cheap fuel” and tough emissions regs, expat yourself to Europe.

        • 0 avatar
          IAhawkeye

          $10/gallon private fuel tax?? Automatic fault if your in a bigger vehicle??

          ROFL

          Please. I don’t even know where to begin, except to say why do you hate your fellow Americans so much that your willing to destroy their lives?

  • avatar
    Acd

    So in other words nothing new to report but we’ll write a story about it anyhow and take the clicks.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      I’m sure they’re happy to have your click, and the additional page view generated from posting your comment about how you didn’t want to read it.

      • 0 avatar
        Acd

        I probably owe them a few clicks since my popup blocker doesn’t let me see the ads but makes it so the site loads and scrolls which is not the case without the popup blocker enabled.

        But seriously there’s no new information in this article which was my original criticism.

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    Out of curiosity, does anyone know how the cheating 2 litre diesel’s emissions are compared a compliant VW diesel circa 2002?

    • 0 avatar
      Robbie

      Or to a diesel pickup truck?

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        why do people continue to bring up pickup trucks? They’re subject to the same Tier 2 Bin 5 limits as cars, whether gas or diesel. ‘

        http://transportpolicy.net/index.php?title=US:_Light-duty:_Emissions#Vehicle_Categories

        “The same emission limits apply to all vehicles regardless of the fuel they use – vehicles fueled by gasoline, diesel, or alternative fuels all must meet the same standards. Since light-duty emission standards are expressed in grams of pollutants per mile, vehicles with large engines (such light trucks or SUVs) must use more advanced emission control technologies than vehicles with smaller engines in order to meet the standards.”

        give it a f***ing rest already.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          And the fact that the VWs were small and light and thus didn’t burn a lot of fuel compared to that diesel pickup was one of the reasons that VW claimed they didn’t need DEF.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          Jim, its policy for the b&b to attack pickup drivers. Is it justified? No, but they won’t let that stop them.

          “I’d rather fight a guy driving an F-250 because if he drives a truck, he must be compensating for his weak structure, lack of strength, small penis, and tiny brain…meanwhile the Model S driver is a big hulk of a man with enough brutal strength that he could squish me with his fingers and I know this because he doesn’t have to compensate for any weak physical attributes by driving a pickup.”

          And they actually believe this crap! No, I don’t drive a pickup, but I do believe in my rights and the freedom I enjoy in this country where I can do so if I want (and can afford) to. I don’t appreciate a bunch of pansies crowing on about how we need to enact laws to prevent or strongly discourage people from buying what they want to buy. Making up crap about the emissions of newer diesel trucks is just the latest in their onslaught of ignorance aimed at putting everyone in a freakin Prius.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            I think it’s par for the course, considering the stereotypes surrounding people who drive large pickup trucks recreationally, and often inconsiderately. Just let it roll off your shoulders. For me, the only large diesel truck drivers who inspire ire are the ones that roll coal, because that’s just stupid.

  • avatar
    manny_c44

    The newer cheating diesels are cleaner than the old ones, the particulate emissions are basically zero on the new ones whereas the circa 2002 still spouted black clouds under heavy loads; not sure about the nitric oxide though (there are excellent articles and posts detailing why diesel engines put out certain pollutants under certain circumstances, interesting reading on the TDI club forums and elsewhere).

    Anyway the post had new news: “The automaker is on track to meet a June 21 settlement deadline, a federal judge stated yesterday…” That’s something: they have not delayed and are on track. I’m glad to hear it.

  • avatar
    zip89105

    Sell me a brand new VW diesel for $15K, I won’t return it, I won’t take any payoff, and I won’t complain.

    • 0 avatar
      Acd

      You probably can’t get a new Passat for $15k but there have been some 2-3 year old cars with miles in the 20’s available for around that money or less.

  • avatar
    jdiaz34

    Plenty of E63 wagons are conveniently coming off of lease as my GSW TDI gets bought back by VW. The gods want me to exchange exhaust smoke for tire smoke.

  • avatar
    PentastarPride

    There’s nothing really confidential about the settlement. The cars will be bought back and destroyed. Most will be replaced with brand new cars.

    Hmmm…that whole process to recycle and manufacture a car is almost always less favorable than keeping the car on the road. Look at the socialist experiment that was Cash for Clunkers…keeping that trusty old 1995 Ford Explorer on the road was better for the environment than scrapping it on trade for an econobox.

    So much for aiming towards environmental compliance…

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Depending on the specific settlement VW reaches, I doubt the buybacks will be crushed and shredded whole. More likely they will dismantled for parts stock, and the leftovers will be crushed.

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