What VW’s settlement means for car owners


If you’ve seen the news recently, you’ll know that Volkswagen has agreed to a settlement with the EPA, the California Attorney General, the California Air Resources Board, the Federal Trade Commission, and current vehicle owners/lessees and certain former vehicle owners/lessees in the U.S.

Why you may ask? VW claimed 500,000 cars had low levels of harmful emissions, but turns out they were much higher.

According to Volkswagen’s website, if the settlement is approved the company will agree to the following:

  • Buy back, terminate leases or provide approved emissions modifications for nearly 475,000 2.0-liter TDI diesel cars in the United States;
  • Provide cash payments to owners/lessees;
  • Pay for environmental remediation; and
  • Promote zero emissions vehicle technology

So, what does this mean for you?

Well, the FTC says it means VW will buy back affected cars for thousands of dollars more than their current replacement value, which is compensation for VW’s untrue emissions claims and for the trouble of replacing the car.

Additionally, the government agency says if environmental regulators approve a modification to the cars, people who own or lease will have the option for VW to implement the modification and get money in compensation.

This information is important if you are looking to sell one of the qualified cars because potential buyers could offer what might sound like a great deal, but would be less if do a buyback under the FTC’s settlement with VW. If you go with the buyback program, you can use the money however you like. If someone says you have to buy another car with it, they’re lying.

Now if you’re wondering if there is a deadline to submitting a buyback claim, there is.  But don’t worry, that’s not until September 1, 2018. Buybacks could start in late Fall 2016, and emissions modifications will begin once approved.

To find out if your car qualifies, click here.

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