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VW owners, get the facts!

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You may have heard that Volkswagen has agreed to a settlement with the FTC that will provide up to $10 billion to owners and lessees of VW and Audi 2.0 liter diesel cars. VW claimed 500,000 cars had low levels of harmful emissions, but they were actually much higher.

Did you know that VW will buy back affected cars for thousands of dollars more than their current replacement value? That’s compensation for VW’s untrue emissions claims and for the trouble of replacing the car.

And 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.

If you own one of these cars, visit At the site, you can enter your car’s vehicle identification number (VIN) and find out how much you can get. Or you can call 844-98-CLAIM and ask.

It’s particularly important for you to get this information if you’re considering selling your car. Potential buyers may offer what sounds like a good deal, but it’s still less than you can get for a buyback under the FTC’s settlement with VW. Whether it’s a private purchaser or an unscrupulous dealer, those buyers are just going to turn around and sell the car back to VW for more money through the court-approved buyback program.

If you participate in the buyback program, you can use the money for anything you want. You don’t even have to buy a car with it. If anyone tells you something different – for example, that you have to buy another VW or Audi car – they’re lying.

And don’t let anyone pressure you by saying you need to “Act now!” You don’t. You’ll be able to submit a buyback claim until September 1, 2018. Buybacks could start in late Fall 2016, and emissions modifications will begin once approved, so you have time to consider your decision.

If someone makes you an offer for your VW or Audi car, or suggests limits on the buyback program that don’t exist, please report them to the FTC. We worked very hard to get a fair deal for VW and Audi owners and lessees, and we don’t want anyone to undermine it.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


My wife and I have a problem with our claim process. The documents they are requesting as part of the process are government issued id's and car registration. We lost some of our income very soon after we bought the car, and haven't been able to register the car for just over a year. Can VW legally deny our claim because we haven't registered the car yet. We were planning to do the buyback anyway. On top of that our auto logout an is with VW credit, so I don't know why they couldn't use the billing statement we sent them.

You can call VW at 844-98-CLAIM about that question.

I have seen several comments regarding no response on questions submitted to the VW e-mail/web site and no answer on the phone line. Do you have insight on how to navigate getting a contact?


Did you ever resolve this issue? I have a similar one.

If you go to, go to the FAQ's. Under the first section, Eligibility, the question is answered in detail there.

I have a loan balance with VW Credit for my 2012 Golf TDI, that is greater than the compensation amount that I am slated to receive. I am choosing the emissions modification option. Is there loan forgiveness for TDI owners who want to keep their cars ? As of now, it looks as though I will still owe VW Credit about $5K after I get the compensation check.

You can use the information at and in the Long Form Notice VW sent you to answer your questions.

Then why are we being forced to use that money to payoff the loan? Take what the car is worth and don't touch our compensation! Seems like some owners are getting the short end of the stick for trusting a reputable company(VW) and exceeding a national average which is the very reason for buying a TDI(because we drive a lot!)

I just discovered that not only do you not get the money until you have gotten the car fixed but that it could be as long as May 2018 until that can be accomplished. It seems to me that they are trying to avoid having to fix cars by essentially forcing people to take the buy back. If I do I won't buy another VW.

Bridget why don't you reply to all queries?

I disagree, at least for my 2014 TDI Sportswagon. My understanding is there will be a payment (min $5100) whether I get it fixed or not, plus the option of a buyback.


The total amount you get from the FTC charts is equal to the total amount on Volkswagen’s claims website. 

Volkswagen divides this total into parts, including some it labels as “vehicle value” and “additional restitution.” 

The FTC did not divide calculations this way or use the same methodology, but the total amounts are the same.  For example, if after adding and subtracting the proper amounts for mileage and options, your buyback number from the FTC charts is $14,000, that is the total you are eligible to receive.  The Volkswagen claims website may break that $14,000 into different parts, but the total of those parts will still be $14,000.

I'm having the same problem, we have a 2015 Passat that we bought 5 months prior to the September date. VW is trying to say that the buyback value base is 24k with a 7k restitution. How is it that the car was stickered at 32k and has lost 8k in value in 5 months? Not cool.

I am having the same issue. Didn't think it would be possible to be more unhappy...

Exactly the same thing, mine (brandnew 2015 Golf) was stickered at 35K, and because of the miles I drive due to work, they wanna offer me 16K..... vehicle depreciation of "the car of the year" by over 50% in a 6month period? I don't think so....

Opt out get an attorney they are suing for 492k per vehicle

Mike--i totally agree. The EPA tries to make themselves out as a bunch of angels. They are no better in protecting the environment than those they police...Colorado gold mine disaster as an example...but who gets to sue them and drag them thru the mud??? And if they do get sued and lose who pays? The american taxpayer. Either way we lose and they are never really accountable. Jail for them too if they mess up!!!

Most likely your car will not be allowed to pass inspection without the modification.

Has anybody heard what happens to the money we used to buy the car (down payment) or our trade in cars? They gave me $8,500 for my escalade...I want that back! And what about all of the payments I've made on my loan? So if you owe more you make out better by them paying the loan off.

My VW is total junk it has 36k miles on it and Im on my 3rd ignition switch. the radio completely died too. Never again will I buy a Jeep or VW. I will sell and buy another Ford. The only American car company not to take a bailout.

That's crazy. Did you buy a car that was in a flood? Have owned a '74, '84, 02' and now the '12 TDI. No issues that were not fixed on the first pass. As for the TDI -- pefect! Is there a difference between a Wolfsburg built car vs the one's out of Mexico? Hope not.

I had a Wolfsburg edition gas Jetta before my current 2012 Jetta TDI. The Woflsburg was built better. The newer car has a different center arm rest that doesn't raise up, the passenger visor doesn't extend out, and there are more "creaks". I'm sure my husband could name more differences.

Bridget, The settlement specifies 20% above WHOLESALE value. But consumers don't buy wholesale, we buy retail. So the 120% of trade-in value is basically replacement price for a comparable age/mileage/features vehicle. The agreement adds $2983 to the pot; but sales tax on the purchase price of a 2014-2015 vehicle is likely $2000. So please cut out the puffery.

It is 120% of the September 2015 value, and you can wait until 2018 to surrender the car. That is WAY ABOVE replacement value by that time.

The original settlement documents called for buyback at replacement value plus additional restitution. The 'extra' 20% on top of the wholesale value is part of the restitution to all VW customers that participate in the settlement, not just those who sell back their vehicle. Wholesale is still FAR BELOW the retail replacement costs.

100% agree. My car was 4 months old in September 2015 and had no book value. Msrp was 29k and they are saying replacement value is 22.5k. I get another 7 to supposedly punish VW but it's a sham. Their net is they are unwinding the deal but they suffer no real penalty. And the misrepresentation of "replacement value" to the court is enough to me ill. Additionally, there will be no fix and even in the remote chance there is, it will neuter these cars, kill gas mileage and performance. If there were a fix, VW never would have cheated and the other manufacturers wouldn't have been scratching their heads trying to match VW's numbers for 7 years. It's not magic, it's physics. Therefore, the 7k offer from VW to fix is a sham. I'm digusted and I can't believe the judge has accepted this bogus preliminary offer.

My car was also 4 months old in September. Essentially, we're taking a 28% depreciation hit on a car that was sold under fraudulent terms as VW and the govt were aware of the issue before they sold these 2015 cars. I bought a 2015 Golf Sportwagen. It was totally new to the US market and there were zero discounts or incentives. I really feel I should have been given my full purchase price or at a minimum full loan forgiveness THEN the restitution amount. Had I leased, the lease would be terminated and I'd get the cash. I would not have "traded-in" a new car four months after purchasing, so why am I stuck with a non-existent trade-in value? In the end, I'll be able to pay off the loan with VW and get maybe close to $2k leftover to buy a new car. Such a hassle.

I 100 percent agree with you-I purchased my VW in March 2015 I only have 16000 miles on it right now even the top buyback amount doesn't cover what I paid plus don't forget taxes and interest! We All need to opt out and sue individually-seems to me the only ones making out is the EPA -and why does a Cali judge get to decide for everyone ? This is total bs

He said it! Folks.... let's be real. VW will have to Research and develop a modification But they aren't sure for exactly how many cars until we decide.

Let's assume 30% of 500000 decide to go for emissions mod. 150,000 cars that VW would need to produce a mod for in the US? That's a drop in the bucket and not worth the cost to develop any available or new technology for a problem they couldn't fix and covered up when 11 million cars were being produced.

By all means.. hold on for 2 years to be let down a second time.

You are incorrect regarding replacement costs. My Jetta wagon can be replaced right now for $16k. VW is going to pay me $27k for it. Sounds like many people here are looking to get reimbursed for buying a NEW vehicle to replace their USED VW.

What no one is addressing is the tax implications if we take they buyback! My family has 2 VW;s, with a total buyback of $59,000. I am being told that will be taxable - how can your afford the total package then? Yet they do not want this to impact your taxes.....

I agree! The courts require them to buy them back. The government will fine them then tax us for their buy back? Hmmm...

But Bridget never said anything about keeping the car two more years to get the "thousands of dollars more than their current replacement value" , risking a catastrophic accident or a disabling mechanical failure during those two years.

Replacement value is RETAIL + sales tax on that amount. Current implies today, or at least soon. Not two years from now.

"Puffing" the settlement is not appropriate from a government agency. They should stick to facts.

IF all comes to fruition - my buyback and inconvenience money will come in at approx $1,000 less than I paid for my 2014 Passat TDI SE in April 2014. This has been an amazing car and I would LOVE to continue driving it, BUT I also hava a Takata Airbag recall as well as two additional recalls out there right now.

As far as those who are worried about recouping their down payment or value of the trade they used to buy their TDI - as that is not ever recouped when you trade the next time, or when you sell, and came off the value of the transaction and price of the car to begin with - get over it. There is no free lunch, as they say. I have driven my care for 2 1/2 years for $1,000 is the way I choose to look at this and my only fear is that I will never get the same quality and value in another vehicle for the same money. Regardless - the additional recalls and no fix on the horizon for the airbags has me accepting the buyout.

Wish I could have found a new Touareg TDI pre-fix for an incredibly low price to trade for and take the fix with no restitution - would have been a perfect solution.

The settlement is not final yet. There is a comment period underway, and the judge has to finalize the terms after that. Selling now to a speculator locks in at least some profit for you if you need the money now. Waiting means you are at risk of the judge changing the terms. Sure it might be small risk, but a bird in the hand... FTC person, please let me know if I am incorrect in my statements above.

The FTC announced two related settlements on June 28, 2016; one with the state of California and the United States, and one with the FTC. The FTC's press release includes details about the terms of both proposed settlements.

The settlements partially resolve allegations by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the California Attorney General’s Office and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) under the Clean Air Act, California Health and Safety Code, and California’s Unfair Competition Laws, relating to the vehicles’ use of “defeat devices” to cheat emissions tests. The settlements also resolve claims by the FTC that Volkswagen violated the FTC Act through the deceptive and unfair advertising and sale of its “clean diesel” vehicles. The settlements do not resolve pending claims for civil penalties or any claims concerning 3.0 liter diesel vehicles. Nor do they address any potential criminal liability.

The provisions of the U.S./California settlement are contained in a proposed consent decree filed on June 28, 2016 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, as part of the ongoing multi-district litigation, and will be subject to public comment period of 30 days. The provisions of the FTC settlement are contained in a proposed Stipulated Final Federal Court Order filed on June 28, 2016 in the same court.

Eligible consumers will receive notice from VW after the orders are entered by the court this fall. Consumer payments will not be available until the settlements take effect if and when approved by the court, which may be as early as October 2016.

My biggest concern is how fast do you get the money once you submit the car for buyback? This is my only car and I would like to not be inconvenienced with not having a car for a couple of days until a new purchase. Does anyone know the procedure?

I was told today, after I selected buyback and after the court have approved the suit, I would be notified by VW to meet at the dealership I selected to meet with a Ambassador of VW- at that time, he would discuss my option and cut a check or direct deposit the funds. The last time I called in, which was a week ago, I was told a 3 days recision period before the funds were ACH into my acct???

This is Bridget at the FTC. Can you say more about this? Who told you that a VW ambassador would meet you and cut a check or deposit funds? Did you get a letter, phone call or email, or talk to someone at a VW dealership?

Ms. Small this information regarding meeting an ambassador and receiving a check immediately or having to wait 3 days for an ACH or issuance of a paper check dependent on any mileage adjustment is outlined in the buyback process FAQ section of the VW court website.

I am also completely confused as to my vehicle value factor. The FTC Order states MRSP (purchased end of July 2015 therefore no trade in value) yet the long form of the settlement offer states MSRP multiplied by .717 to determine clean trade in value as there was no book on my vehicle.

The long form calculations mean my $22k vehicle is now only worth $15k. If I have VW buyback my Jetta I will receive $1,100 after my loan has been paid off; however, if I elect the modification that may or may not become available I will receive $6200. When I use the FTC charts buyback of my vechile is based on MSRP, mileage adjustment, region, and I should receive upwards of $7400 after my loan has been paid off. I cannot get a clear answer from the claims portal, claims phone number, nor anywhere else.

I sold my prior vehicle for the down payment on my VW. I purchased an extended warranty to cover my vehicle for the life of my loan. I have paid thousands in interest on my loan. I am like many other consumers who are no longer driving my vehicle to keep my mileage low. I purchased the TDI as I commute 60 miles to work each day and need the mileage which is better than any hybrid vehicle on the market. Yet here I sit completely confused as to what is the best decision.

I chose to obtain a loan yes. I agreed to the terms regarding interest, GAP Insurance, and extended warranties, I have honored my obligations as a consumer, yet because I purchased the vehicle new a little over a month prior to the press release regarding the TDI I am in a position which ultimately will leave me in a position to have to purchase another vehicle for my needs and not be restored to where I was the day I purchased the TDI (the choice of keeping a good quality SUV with low mileage and no payments, lower insurance rates, but at the cost of poor fuel consumption.)

I never would have purchased the TDI had I known about the defeat device. I have since fallen in love with my Jetta and know that there is no other vehicle on the market that can compare in fuel consumption as well as total cost. I know everyone has to wait for the judge to make a final ruling; however, it appears to be those who purchased 2015 models are not going to be restored to their position prior to their purchase.

I fully support the FTC's position of retail value across the board for all owners plus the punitive damage for owner restitution to be paid by VW so that as a consumer we can replace our vehicles. I support the DOJ in regards to having all of these vehicles removed from the road to stop the pollution. I don't want to wait two years of making payments on my vehicle, paying the interest on my vehicle, for a chance a successful modification can be made to my vehicle or have to sell my vehicle back in the end and still lose 71.7% of the MSRP amount I paid.

All the while yes I consistently receive offers from my VW dealership to come turn my vehicle in for a gas model, but thankfully I have read the long form settlement offer on the court's website and the settlement website, plus the notice received in the mail to know that if I do turn in my vehicle now I for all intensive purposes lose my ability to participate in the class action. One more point to mention I was informed by the claims associate it would take 20 days after submission of my documents to determine full eligibility (even though my VIN number is listed in the action) and that time has elapsed.

If someone makes you an offer for your VW or Audi car, please report them to the FTC. The FTC worked very hard to get a fair deal for VW and Audi owners and lessees, and we don’t want anyone to undermine it.

Hi Ms. Small,
I have almost the exact same concerns as Heather G., having purchased my vehicle new on September 11, 2015. I'm glad you were able to speak to her final point as to dealerships making offers on her vehicle, however am disappointed that you did not speak to her other points.

We support FTC, and we support the need to get these vehicles off of the road, but for those of us who bought the vehicle immediately before this fraud was discovered are hardly being made whole by receiving 71.7% of what our vehicles are worth.

It is impossible to get in touch with anyone from VW; my documents have been processing for 20 days and I have not heard anything back. Hold times are hours and the chat service is disconnected. I can't even get in touch with the VW Claims people to update the mileage number that I submitted - stuck driving my car I have bumped myself into the next mileage bracket.

We appreciate you taking the time to address so many of the concerns that people have submitted on this page, I'm sure many of these people aren't intentionally being negative; there's just a whole lot of us who are lost and confused.

EFT in 3 days VW said, check would be mailed after 3 banking business days

That's a big point you raise. You turn your car in to VW and then... what? You ride the bus until VW gets good and ready to send the check? The terms should enable you to turn the car in at the dealer where you're buying your next car so you can use the settlement as a down payment. Let VW send the check to the dealer.

I see this happening in 2 ways. You have your number, you have your appointment with the local dealer and the appointed individual + there will likely be a VW Rep onsite as well .. you sit down, and (1) You want to buy a NEW VW, they agree to send the money to the dealer - your downpayment (or you keep a portion for taxes) -- and you walk away with the NEW car -- hopefully with a great deal! or (2) You hand over everything and they electronically (3 days?) cut you a check -- or you wait up to 10 days for the check to arrive in the mail.

Now if you have MORE miles than predicated when you chose the BuyBack -- it could take another 5-10 days to adjust your number -- this is where things get fuzzy. Do you get a loaner? Walk away and just wait up to 10 days for the check? Wait up to 10 days for your adjustment number then go back into the dealer to once again sit down and talk?

Make sure you do everything perfectly the first time they like to reject everything and take 10 years I had all of my paperwork in three weeks before the judge's ruling they told me everything looked great and then they denied stuff then their computer messed up and they're saying I have to wait for it to deny before I can resubmit which I already resubmitted so it's a nightmare

I have not heard anything and all of my documents have been under review since early october... How much longer do I wait?!?!?!?! The mileage on my car is going up and the value is going down as VW takes their sweet time!

I am in the same boat. They told me on the 28th of October that my documents were reviewed and accepted and that I would have an offer in 10 business days, according to their website. I am on 12 business days and still waiting for my final offer letter. All while I am under the gun because I purchased a new vehicle so I could have a seamless transition and not be car-less. I am going to receive their loan forgiveness, but my payment was due yesterday and I refuse to pay Volkswagen for a vehicle I am no longer driving. my anticipated buy back date was the 15th of November, but when I visited my local dealership and told them I was still waiting on my paperwork for the final offer he told me It could be up to 90 days from when the final offer letter is given to me and I no longer have the vehicle. My problem is not the mileage going up but the fact that I will be making $560 payment to not receive anything back from them.

Has anyone received payment? I've filed paperwork twice. First time it was "lost". Now I have confirmation that documentation is correct. Understand another 10 business days for claim to be reviewed. Feeling downhearted and deceived. VW doesn't understand I need my car to make a living. I need to work out details so I'm not carless and put my job at risk.


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