By on May 4, 2017

2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI

Despite having the worst public image since the Ford Pinto or Chevrolet Vega, Volkswagen’s sidelined 2015 2.0-liter diesel models flew off lots after being approved for sale in mid-April.

A crop of about 11,000 unsold TDIs loitered on dealer lots around the U.S. after being banned from sale by the Environmental Protection Agency in September 2015. In a weak month that saw numerous automakers sink on the sales charts, Volkswagen was a bright light, posting a 1.6-percent increase over April 2016. Much of that success came from still-polluting diesels.

So much for stigma.

While VW hasn’t offered up a fix for older diesels, 2015 models equipped with an updated version of the automaker’s 2.0-liter TDI engine gained approval for a two-phase fix last month. The first phase — a software update — made the approval possible. All affected 2015 vehicles are required to return for a more complicated fix when it becomes available.

Much of the nearly half-million affected 2.0-liter TDIs are bound for the graveyard. Still, the EPA’s approval of a Generation 3 engine fix means 67,000 of those vehicles could stay on the road, while an even smaller number could generate revenue for VW.

Of the 27,557 VW-badged vehicles sold in the U.S. last month, 3,196 were 2015 diesel models. The automaker made sure the vehicles were heavily marked down, and it seems money talks. Diesel isn’t dead in America, and many buyers who still carry a flame for the torquey little German cars jumped at the chance to snap up what could be the last small VW diesels offered in the U.S.

The automaker has assured buyers of “new” vehicles and existing owners who shunned buyback offers that the fix won’t negatively impact performance or fuel economy. VW’s promise came after European owners of older models said their cars turned into shuddering dogs post-fix.

[Source: Reuters] [Image: Volkswagen USA]

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29 Comments on “Oil Lamp: Diesel Volkswagens Prove a Hot Sell in April, Boost Company’s Fortunes...”

  • avatar

    This should come as no shock to anyone. There is a relatively small, but vocal diesel contingent for whom there is no other powertrain.

    Then, of course, money talks. While it’s doubtful Volkswagen will see much, if any, profit from these individual sales, it will help them offset a bit of the financial burden.

  • avatar

    Snagged a loaded 2015 Golf SEL TDI with a 6-speed manual in the DC area at a significant discount two weeks ago.The dealer said they got a ton of calls on this model from as far as Chicago — very few manuals available. VW reconditions the cars thoroughly, paying for anything that is askew, plus new filters throughout, oil and other fluids and tacks on an extended warranty (on top of the mfr’s new car warranty) for all emissions-related hardware, including the turbo, for 11 years and 162,000 miles.

    Mine likely sat for 1.6 years based on its build date. All is well — paint and rubber are fine. I’m pleased. We’ll see what the new hardware install creates next year. My impression is that VW, caught with its pants down, will stand behind these 2015s or face more wrath. If not, VW North America is in Northern Virginia and I’d be willing to create a ruckus with media in tow.

    • 0 avatar

      That’s exactly the model I was considering – I’m not a huge diesel fan, but I do like the manual transmission that isn’t available in the standard gasoline-powered Golf except in low-end models (or GTI/R/Alltrack). But ultimately my ten year old Rabbit is running too nicely to warrant buying a new car I can barely afford.

      Everyone is talking about the massive discounts on the 2015 TDIs but nobody will tell me just what size discount we’re talking about here. $1,000 under MSRP? $5,000 under? $12,000 under?

      • 0 avatar

        I was wondering if the cars would have any adverse affects from sitting. I’m glad they’re changing fluids and all that and extending the warranty.

      • 0 avatar

        VW is offering its dealers $8500 incentives on these models. It’s entirely up to the individual dealer what portion of that $$$$ they offer to consumers. Truth.

        • 0 avatar

          VW is offering $8,500 off MSRP for leases; $5,000 off for sales and you can negotiate from there, which I was able to do as I was just on the heals of the announcement that they were fixing the 2015s and offering for sale. These are going fast so I’m not sure they’re willing to budge much more at this point. The only thing I’m disappointed with is the lack of a rear independent suspension in the TDI. They went with a torsion beam to accommodate the urea tank.

  • avatar

    Did their public image hurt them with those intending to buy a Volks or with those who weren’t going to buy one anyway? Their market share is not high.

  • avatar
    Big Al From 'Murica

    Can they sell these in Colorado? I thought they just banned rolling coal.

  • avatar
    Rick T.

    Browsing locally, there’s a black over beige at the Chattanooga dealer:

    And five in Clarksville:

  • avatar

    I was intrigued so I went over to my local dealer and found this page for used TDI’s!!:

    “Because we experienced such high demand for the 2015 TDI models that were recently permitted to be sold, we have compiled a list of the pre-owned 2015 TDI models that are expected to arrive at Clarkdale Volkswagen. You can reserve any of these vehicles by contacting us today!

    Secure Yours!

    These incoming 2015 pre-owned TDIs will definitely go quickly — so act fast! You can secure one today by contacting us.”

  • avatar

    Diesel Cheating: Don’t NOx it until you try it

  • avatar

    Obviously a completely legal Chevy Cruise diesel isn’t an acceptable substitute to this crowd.

    • 0 avatar

      Not much enthusiasm for them in Australia either. VW different story

      • 0 avatar
        Guitar man

        …probably because GMH stopped offering diesel Cruzes in 2014…

        • 0 avatar

          @Guitar man
          Then Cruises not long after. Car was the problem.Almost zilch enthusiasm
          “Production figures for 2016 saw Holden manufacture a total of 38,677 vehicles (both Commodore and the now discontinued Cruze) with 4191 vehicles exported to to New Zealand, the Middle East, and North America.”

          • 0 avatar
            Guitar man

            ? The Cruze was imported until just last month. And the “Astra” imported from Korea which replaced it is sold as a Cruze everywhere else.

            GMH dropped the diesel Cruze because the price of petrol dropped.

          • 0 avatar

            @Guitar Man
            ” The Cruze was imported until just last month” As I said they stopped the Cruze.
            Astra sells as well as the a stone.
            Diesel was dropped as very few were taking it up. Diesel cars with small engines do not sell well,
            Pr blurb for the Astra.
            “Holden’s Cruze replacement never really recovered from either a talent or sales perspective, but now the Astra returns armed with class-leading power and torque figures, competitive kerb weights, segment-challenging technology and keen pricing.”
            Summing up
            “Holden sales dipped below 100,000 cars for the first time in 26 years last year. The company sold 94,308 vehicles in 2016, down from 102,951 cars in 2015.

            As recently as 15 years ago one in every five cars sold in Australia bore Holden’s famous Lion badge. It’s now fewer than one in 11.”

  • avatar

    To paraphrase an old investing axiom: “there are no bad cars, only bad prices.” Everything has a clearing price.

    VW Canada was offering $9,500 off Passats.

    Probably the best deal for a car in Canada since the “Iraqibu” – the infamous Malibus with 3 speed manual transmissions sold to Iraq, who later declined delivery. (Apparently they were fighting a war at the time, and had better uses for their money.). Dumped on Canadian consumers for the low, low price of $7000!

  • avatar

    Dead cat bounce, y’all

  • avatar

    Diesel Particulate Filters, Exhaust Flaps, are all part of the fun, unless you live in a state with no pollution inspections. Everything south of the turbo is a joke…..and very expensive to fix if you intent to remain compliant.

  • avatar

    Now, why the hell wouldn’t the old vehicles they’re selling have “the fix” done up front? Gee, I wonder…

    VW’s gonna have a small torches-and-pitchforks brigade on their hands in about a year, I think.

  • avatar

    Collectors editions? Think about it… you too could own a car so bad for the planet it was banned!

  • avatar

    I was super tempted by a Passat TDi manual back in 2015 when dealers were trying to unload them. It was $18k, which was something like $12k off MSRP. I decided against it because I hated my previous Passat so much. But if I did not care how my car drives, it would have been a tremendous buy.

  • avatar

    My local dealer had the $5k off MSRP deal listed in their site. My immediate reaction was that didn’t seem like enough of a discount on a car that is already 2 model years old and had been sitting out in the elements for 18 months. Add to that the uncertainty of the future “fix.” There are deals nearly that good to be had on 2017 models.

  • avatar

    Sold my 2010 manual Golf TDI back to VW back in January. Picked up a 2017 GTI SE manual for better than 5k under MSRP. TDI was a nice car but I don’t miss it.

  • avatar

    Please correct your statement , TTAC, they are not “still polluting”. These released cars have a software fix approved by the EPA. And the negative effects of this fix are completely non-existent. The problems you report in Europe are made up by people trying to get the generous settlements as per the US.

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