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$10 billion for consumers over VW’s false clean car claims

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Under a partial settlement filed today by the FTC, Volkswagen is agreeing to provide up to $10 billion to owners and lessees of VW and Audi 2.0 liter diesel cars that it claimed had low levels of harmful emissions, but did not. It’s the largest false advertising case in FTC history. Nearly 500,000 cars are affected.

Under a related partial settlement with the US Department of Justice and California Attorney General, Volkswagen will spend an additional $4.7 billion to mitigate pollution and make investments that support increased use of zero-emissions vehicles. This partially resolves allegations by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) that Volkswagen violated the Clean Air Act and the California Health and Safety Code.

Here are answers to some questions you may have if you own or lease an affected car.

What are the options?
 

Current Volkswagen or Audi 2.0 liter diesel vehicle owners and lessees can choose: a buyback of your car or early lease termination or if approved by EPA and CARB, a modification to your car to improve emissions and cash. Some former owners and lessees also are eligible to receive cash.

How can I find out if my car is covered?

Visit VWCourtSettlement.com. Enter your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to see if your car qualifies. In the future, VWCourtSettlement.com will allow you to check how much compensation you will receive and register for compensation.

How it works

What models and years are covered?

The settlement covers these models and years:

VW Beetle, 2013-2015. VW Golf, 2010-2015. VW Jetta, 2009-2015. VW Passat, 2012-2015. Audi A3, 2010-2013, 2015.

How much will I receive for a buyback of my car?

The amount you will receive for a buyback will depend on the particular model, year, body style, mileage, where you live, and certain options, like a power sunroof or navigation system. You will be compensated based on the value of the car at the time Volkswagen’s deception became public, as well as for the costs associated with purchasing a new car and Volkswagen’s deception. 

Right now, you can use these charts to estimate how much you will receive:

These factors also affect compensation:

When will EPA and CARB announce whether they have approved a modification?

First, Volkswagen must submit its proposed modifications for EPA and CARB to review. The earliest any modification could be approved would be Fall 2016, and it may be later than that.

Will I receive more information in the future about my options?

Yes. After the settlements are approved by the court, you will be mailed notifications from Volkswagen and the attorneys representing owners and lessees.

Where can I get more information?

The most comprehensive and up-to-date information will be at VWCourtSettlement.com. You also may call 844-98-CLAIM.

Tagged with: advertising, car, green
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Money & Credit

Comments

If you have questions about your personal tax obligations, you could talk with an accountant or tax professional.

What if I bought an extended warranty for my 2013 Golf TDI? I just went over 42K miles and will not receive the benefit of the warranty if I choose the buyback option. I would have to pull out my original purchase contract(which I still have), but I think I paid $2500-$3000 for the warranty... will Volkswagen offer to reimburse for this unused product?

The most comprehensive and up-to-date information will be at VWCourtSettlement.com. You also may call 844-98-CLAIM.

What about the original buyers of the TDI vehicle? We paid the most for these cars new and to be shafted by VW. The original should get half of the extra cash payment. My 2009 Jetta TDI was the first year and I was lied to. Paid sticker due to demand. Almost 26,000. And VW says screw you to the original buyer.

Bridget, why is VW estimating far below what the documentation the FTC has provided above for my return amount to on a 2011 Jetta Sports Wagon with 131,000 miles? The documentation the FTC had provided states I should received in the ball park of $20,500 for my car but the new VW sites estimates my payment to to be around $16,600. What's the deal? Has VW decided to define they can decide what is the fair market value on the car? Or is the FTC in charge of this?

The total amount you are eligible to receive under the FTC settlement and the Class Action settlement is the same. To calculate your total amount using the FTC charts, you have to select the appropriate region, add or subtract your vehicle’s options, and make any adjustments based on mileage.

There are three different mileage tables, depending on your vehicle model. The Online Portal does those calculations for you automatically, including any adjustments based on the mileage you enter. So the amount you receive through the Online Portal will be the same as a correctly calculated amount using the FTC charts. If you believe there is an error, please call VW at 1-844-98-CLAIM.

Ben/Bridget I had exactly the same problem with my 2011 Jetta sedan calculation. I calculated using the FTC tables provided using all the right columns and had the same issue. I calculated 20,809 and they calculated 15,500? Seems like there is a problem one place or the other.

Bridget Small or appropriate FTC rep: Why is my buyback value provided by VW over 30% lower than the value I calculate using the tables provided in the settlement. Looks like a very straight forward calc...region, car, options less mileage. ARE OTHER PEOPLE FINDING THIS AS WELL FOR THEIR SPECIFIC VIN NUMBERS???? FTC table calculations (using 1A and 2B) gave me value of 15,707. Offer from VW using supposedly same math was 10,400. Who have authority to calculate the final value or correct errors for specific VIN numbers? Happy to provide you specifics. Appreciate the help. Cant believe I am the only one.

Under the FTC Order, available at vwsettlement.com, Buyback Restitution is defined as the money VW will pay to Eligible Owners who elect a Buyback under the Settlement Program, shown in the first column of Attachments 1A or 1C, modified by any Mileage Adjustment in Attachments 2A through 2C, if applicable.

The attachments have instructions for a finding a vechicle's Model/Year/Body Style/Region, impact of factory installed options and mileage adjustment as needed.

You can contact VW for information at  844-98-CLAIM. If you want to file a complaint about a business, please go to FTC.gov/complaint.

When is all of this anticipated to be rrsolved? I leased the vehicle in Mass and turned in the lease in June 2016 Please explain the variability of regions,,,is Mass on the high end or low end? Also , my vehicle had Nav system and sunroof,,, do these features increase or decrease the settlement figure? Thx

You can use information in this blog to calculate a payment. You can use this chart in the blog to estimate how much you will receive: Options for Lessees

These factors also affect compensation:

For the most up to date information go to VWCourtSettlement.com or call 844-98-CLAIM.

Why is it that vehicles that were sold or totaled between July 2016 and Sept 16, 2016 are not eligible?

For the totaled vehicles, is it based on the date of the wreck or the date of the settlement?

According to wcourtsettlement.com, some people are not eligible for the Class Action Settlement. For example, owners who sold or otherwise transferred ownership of their Volkswagen or Audi 2.0-liter TDI vehicle between June 28, 2016 and September 16, 2016 aren't included in the Class Action Settlement.

Go to vwcourtsettlement.com for the most current information, or call 1-844-98-CLAIM.

 

I sold my tdi to the dealer for a loss after the dates above. I missed the 9/16/16 date to identify my car. My VIN says I am part of the lawsuit group. Is there anything I can do?

Please contact VW at vwcourtsettlement.com or call 1-844-98-CLAIM. You could also contact the lawyers who represent the car owners in the class action settlement.

We have a 2010 Jetta Diesel and we've been trying in vain to complete the online form to process the buyback option. We are getting an error on the website from any and all computers we've tried it on, and we are getting the runaround from the people we speak to at 1-844-98-CLAIM. When we get to the step where we upload the required documents, we get an error code on the site. We have tried calling repeatedly - and each call has a hold time of at least 1 hour before we speak to someone - and we are promised that the IT folks are reviewing/resolving it but they have not. The error code we keep getting is "error code 8502. No result found." we need help in getting our documents to them. Is there another way to reach them to resolve this issue without waiting on hold for hours? Feeling that we need to escalate this as it's been going on for more than a month and they haven't fixed it.

VW said it will have additional staff on hand to help people. If you continue to have trouble getting through, please report it to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint.

Thanks - we were unable to resolve this error on their site - after many many calls to them and promises of callbacks that they never made. We mailed hardcopies of our paperwork and they were delivered 11/2. We have yet to hear anything at all back from them. When we call they now say it will take several more weeks than the 10 days stipulated in the settlement agreement. Wait times on hold are well over one hour, and when you do finally get to someone they are unable to help. They continue to promise callbacks that never happen. Every time we talk to them we get someone different and get nowhere. In our latest call this week they could not locate our documents in their system after being told the week before that everything had been received. How can we escalate to get the review done within 10 business days of receipt? Need a way to escalate to get resolution. Many people are in the same boat.

I was told today on the claims line, that my docs are with the 3rd party auditor, and that I should expect an offer sheet to be returned within 30 Days. That puts us in Mid December before we can make an appointment. At worst, that could put us at Mid March for completion, based on the 90 day window. While she said that this is on the long end, that is a long time to pay for and put mileage on a vehicle that is being returned under the settlement. While the balance to be paid to VW credit will be reduced, the amount received may be reduced more than reciprocally as a result of the mileage. Just some info to share

Just spent 45 minutes on hold today after being told the rejected registration was wrong and they actually wanted my Drivers License again. 14 legal business days just to be told in writing false information. For a legal process they really could do a better job of being accurate.

The statement says that we can make an appointment within 90 days of receiving our final offer. Does that mean that we won't have a our settlement sooner than 90 days? IE...we won't be able to make an appointment and receive reimbursement even one week after receiving our final offer?

BRIDGET, who is the point of contact when VW UNDERCUTS the buyback amount as stipulated in the terms in the Court settlement.

If you think VW is not following the terms of the FTC Order, you can file a complaint with the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint.

On the first screen, choose the category Other. On the second screen, choose the category Automobile. Provide as much personal inforamation as you choose. When you get to the screen that lets you tell the story in your own words, include the words VW and diesel.

What about if my car is rebuilt but still have the original 2.0 lt diesel engine will vw buyback rebuilt cars? The emissions are the same if the don't buy it or fix those vehicles the pollution will continue thanks to their scam

You can check with VW about that. Visit VWCourtSettlement.com or call VW at 1-844-98-CLAIM for more information.

BRIDGET, I uploaded all my documents October 11th received an email stating the documents are under review and should receive an email from them in 10 business days about eligibility. As of today it still shows documents under review on the website. 12/22/2016. I called them around November 1st and was told everything was go and I should have an offer by November 14th. No offer November 14th called them 11-21 and was told they were behind should have offer by November 28th 20 business days after eligibility was accepted.

The 28th came and gone no offer email, called and talked to a very rude person who told me that I would just have to wait for my offer email and she had no idea when to expect it. Now as of December 22nd still no offer sheet. I did call the online claim number again yesterday talked to a person that told be the same thing had to wait for offer email. Asked to talk to a supervisor was put on hold for 28 minutes when they hung up on me.

Now I know the people with cars paid off (no loan) have got offer emails, I feel this is backwards because us customers with loans are paying interest we are not going to getting back. I know it should be easy to get payoff, documents uploaded October 11 had lien holder info and a release for information. The website still shows documents under review as of today 12-22. I think being stuck at documents under review for 2 months 11 day is way to long. Who do I need to make a complaint to about this!

You can file a complaint with the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. When you're at first screen of the complaint site, choose the category "Other."  On the second screen, choose the category "Automobile." Give as much information as you choose. When you get to the text box that lets you describe the problem, include the words diesel and VW.

VW seems to be intentionally stalling the claims process, thereby owners increase mileage and owe less (since monthly payments continue to be made) which means that VW doesn't have to pay as much for each claim. Original time frame given for review of complete documents was 10 days, we are at 45 days with no offer letter.

I agree
With the provision to base financial compensation on the amount of mileage at the time the owner presents the car for settlement, VW has a financial incentive to delay settling any of our claims. Furthermore, we are all out on the road longer produce more of the pollution.

I am writing on behalf of the Volkswagen Owners that continue to suffer financial loss as the result of the terms of this settlement. Specifically, those of us that chose the option of accepting the Emissions Modification plus financial compensation are losing money the longer Volkswagen delays the rollout the Emissions Modification.

As an example, my claim is still in the following status as noted on the VWGoA Online Claims website:

"The next step in the process is to schedule your appointment to complete the Approved Emissions Modification. An Emissions Modification for your vehicle is not yet approved by EPA/CARB. Volkswagen will contact you when there is an update on the status of the Emissions Modification for your vehicle."

I have been in this status since January 23, 2017 and as of today there still has not been notification that the Emissions Modification for my particular year/model has been approved. Meanwhile, I continue to drive my vehicle in the same manner for which I purchased the vehicle: to drive high mileage (30K/year). Under the terms of the settlement, the compensation I will receive will be reduced if I drive over 12.5K/year. However, the longer I have to wait the less compensation VW has to pay out secondary to my high mileage habits.

I believe this particular part of the terms of the settlement gives Volkswagen a financial incentive to delay in any manner possible the rollout of the Emissions Modification program. Meanwhile, the side effect of this delay results in Volkswagen owners that have selected this option to be out on the road polluting the environment for a longer period of time.

I would appreciate your advice and help in getting this issue rectified for all Volkswagen Owners affected by this issue.

I agree that claims are being intentionally stalled. I, too, am paying monthly for the car note and insurance. This stall has increased milage and depreciated value. I initiated my claim for buy back at the beginning of Nov. 2016 (as soon as documentation was provided and accepted by VW). On Feb. 28 my documents were approved and accepted for the buy back. I was initially quoted a value of $12,900 for my car plus $5500 restitution. When I made the appointment my estimate changed to a buy back value of $5,850 and $ 5100 which leaves me next to nothing after payoff. According to the buy back documents 1A and 2B, my car value is $17687 with $0 adjustment for milage. How has my car depreciated this significantly? What can I do to ensure full restitution is provided?

Hello- I can't believe that I spent $500 on accessories and the car only has 15000 mi and they will not give me credit for the accessories.

***OWNERS GET NOTHING FROM $10 BILLION LAWSUIT*** I purchased a brand new, top of the line 2014 Beetle sitting un-used on the lot in 2015 for $35K, and VW low-balled me & only gave me $19K for it- making any award money go towards the vehicle. Every owner received NOTHING from the $10 BILLION lawsuit. It also mentions above that VW will pay "the costs associated with purchasing a new car" - which of course THEY DON'T. THEY EVEN KEPT MY TRADE-IN VALUE OF $4000 DOLLARS - BUNCH OF CHEATS AND THE FTC IS A CO-CONSPIRER IN THE RIP-OFF OF CONSUMERS.

***OWNERS GET NOTHING FROM $10 BILLION LAWSUIT*** I agree.
I purchased a brand new 2015 Passat TDI SEL Premium in June 2015 for $32,500. VW low-balled me because they based their offer on the trade-in value as of Sept. 2015 and then took value off for the miles driven since. I chose the Modification option because I would have only broken even on paying off my car loan but only by using the GOODWILL payment, too. So now we wait for the second of the 2.0L engine fix with no date expected. I've moved to California from Illinois and now I'm worried about getting the car smog checked to re-register it in this state. Plus I learned that CA Passat TDI owners were offered a way better deal for their Buyout option because of their geographic location. They got full value of what they paid for the car, PLUS the goodwill payment AND some got a trip to Hawaii. I Never should have gone with the rest of the herd and joined the Class Action. The FTC is not on our side at all.

We live in Florida we purchased a 2013 Jetta wagon 19000 miles want to get the modification done to vehicle or sell back to vw can I do that since we are second owners and just bought the car. Any help would be appreciated.

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