By on July 5, 2016

2016 Volkswagen Passat (6 of 14)

After agreeing to fork over up to $14.7 billion to U.S. owners (and the environment) in its U.S. diesel emissions scandal settlement, Volkswagen is saying Nein! to a similar buyback in Europe, because that kind of payout would just be insane.

According to Left Lane News, the embattled automaker isn’t planning any compensation to its clients on the Continent, meaning its 2.0-liter TDI models will go on well into the future, albeit in a slightly detuned form.

The process of solving Volkswagen’s diesel woes is more advanced in the U.S. than overseas, where 8.5 million of its 11 million defeat device-equipped models were sold. Not only are there more models to recall and fix, the laws are different.

Elzbieta Bienkowska, the European Union’s industry commissioner, recently stated that it wouldn’t be fair for European owners to miss out on a U.S.-style deal, but Volkswagen says it just isn’t possible to offer one.

In a June 30 meeting with the commission, CEO Matthias Müller replied to Bienkowska’s comment, stating, “You don’t have to be a mathematician to realize that compensation at arbitrarily high levels would overwhelm Volkswagen.”

Under the U.S. settlement, owners will have their 2.0-liter TDIs bought back at pre-scandal values, and will receive cash compensation of up to $10,000. Emissions requirements in the EU aren’t as strict as those mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, so a diesel Eurofix doesn’t have to be as complicated or as costly.

After a delay earlier this year, the slow, phased recall of afflicted models continues in Europe. American owners will start getting their buyback notices as early as this fall.

[Image: © 2015 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars]

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13 Comments on “Sorry, European Volkswagen Owners – You Won’t Get a U.S.-Style Payout...”


  • avatar
    Kenmore

    Children of a lesser Gott?

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Saw my first Sportwagen in taxi livery in Indianapolis this weekend, an MK6 body car (2011-2012ish?) and was surprised to see the TDI badge on the back. Not sure if this could somehow be linked to ruined-resale? I can’t imagine a cab company wanting to run a modern diesel VAG product in their fleet for any reason other than getting their hands on it dirt cheap.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Volkswagen gets a break here because there’s not a unified emission standard. If the EU standards were as strict as the EPA’s, they’d be in a world of hurt.

  • avatar
    IHateCars

    I wonder how “pre-scandal value” will be calculated?

  • avatar

    Hold on to your EPA. I know that it receives a lot of criticism particularly from Republicans like Trump and Ryan. But just think about it. It manages to combine [1] an interesting business model and [2] a way to reduce emissions.

    For the very same reasons we poor Europeans are not entitled to any compensation – because of poor testing methods making the EU responsible – you Americans do receive compensation, and more.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      America is winning so much, I’m starting to get bored with all the winning.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      EPA did and does not test US spec automobiles for emissions as we all learned from this saga. If European countries did test but failed to pickup what was happening I think it is more embarrassing for them.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        Incorrect, they do audit some percentage of vehicles every year. But even had EPA tested the VWs, they wouldn’t have caught the non-compliance because they’d just run the standard test cycle.

        But even apart from that, a big part of allowing manufacturers to self-certify is the scale of the penalties for non-compliance. VW obviously thought that if they were caught, they’d get away with a relative slap on the wrist like they did in “wink-wink, nudge-nudge” Europe.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        The VWs in the US passed the test, and from the things I’ve seen about the euro spec models they passed the test too. The problem was that they only pass when doing the test so properly testing them would never show a problem.

      • 0 avatar
        whynot

        The EPA does test US spec cars for emissions. The test is the same for all cars, however, and known. So VW had software installed that detected via various parameters that the car was being tested and ran the engine with lower emissions than it did out the real world (with a likely drop in HP, fuel economy, and/or long term engine longevity/reliability) That is kind of the basis of the whole scandal…

        The EU tests emissions the same way. How the EPA and EU test emissions are both publicly available, and the EU’s test especially is a huge joke. The average speed of the “extra urban” testing (re: highway) is 39 mph.

  • avatar
    LIKE TTAC.COM ON FACEBOOK

    And now that Great Britain is leaving the European Union, they can negotiate their own settlement with VW… which is very unlikely to be better than what everyone else in Europe gets.

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