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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


To the FTC. I own a 2014 vehicle, have been watching the progress on the settlement as reported by various news and media outlets. The settlement is not fair. It is not replacement value for the vehicle. I purchased a new vehicle at the retail price and paid sales tax as well as interest on the loan. A fair deal would have been for VW to buy back the vehicles for the original purchase price plus taxes and interest on loans. VW is getting away with one of the biggest rip-offs in history. How did they do it...they are paying the lawyers fees. Talk about conflict of interest.

Not fair? Really? You want full original new retail for a 2-year-old vehicle. THAT's not fair. They are paying out the 1-year-old value for your 2-year-old car (and mine, BTW). Plus an additional restitution amount. I'm very very happy with the deal.

I just got an Email from my selling dealer offering to buy my car for more than its value.....imagine that

Report them to the FTC. Have proof.

The proposed settlement is 2K higher than the vwsettlement site shows for my vehicle. I'm waiting to see the true end offer is. I'm likely going for the cash. Letting them modify your car will only destroy it's value. I won't buy another VW in my lifetime based on getting jammed by VW with the trade in value. Hurry Up! Federal Court. I'm ready to dump my VW.

I liked the comments about interest and taxes, but what about us that weren't so sure about diesel engines and how expensive the are to fix that purchased warranties on these vehicles. How do we get those dollars back in addition to the taxes and interest?

Yes, good questions. Did the same thing. Spent $1800 on the extended warranty (7yr / 70k) because of the 2010 (2011?) issues with the HPFP failures and other fuel issues. But honestly, my 2012 has been a sold piece of machinery. Really hate to give it up, but with 80k miles, brakes due soon, on the airbag recall list, and the issue with losing talented diesel mechanics locally... won't get a better deal than the buyback. Okay.. I did ask the local dealer if they had any 2016 TDI's sitting around, and they do.. so who knows.. wait for the software fix for the 2015/2016 cars.. and buy diesel again.. or??

Anyway.. back to the extended warranty.. Would like to see some of that money back, 20% + $$$.

Taxes are another topic I keep hearing about but no news on that front. Would like to see something as well as most of us were not planning to buy NEW -or- we don't want to lose the trade-in value. That's another $1,100 I would save when buying a NEW car.

So the final number from VW might be as much as $2,000 short to address just these 2 items.

I own a 1st gen Golf, which means in all likelihood there will not be an approved fix. I am okay with the buyback value, but still not enough money to replace with a comparable new car.

I had planned to keep my VW for another 3-5 years before the news broke, and I may do just that meaning keeping my car for the full 2 yrs allowed under the Court settlement.

My one issue with the proposed settlement is that the vehicles are being bought back, instead of being traded in. The difference in taxes for the owner run into thousands of dollars on the repurcahse, assuming there is no additional tax implication come next April.

It seems this entire settlement has stalled long enough. I only have one car, AUDI A3 TDI on the recall buyback list and the more time it takes to get this implemented, the more miles I must drive and thus loose money due to increased mileage, once I the buyback is enforced! This is not total restitution in my opinion.

What about Sales tax? Do we get credit against sales taxes for a replacement vehicle?

Editor, couldn't handle a polite opposing viewpoint, eh? That's OK, I never assumed honesty (or willingness to think just a litte) on your part. Carry on.

Your comments have been posted. Comments recieved after business hours may not be posted until the next work day.

We have 2 TDI vehicles. My husband bought a 2014 Passat TDI SEL new off the lot. We researched and decided because he drove almost 80 miles each day for work it would be a good car for us. The premium price we paid would "come out in the wash" because we were planning to keep the car for many years. Our settlement offer is $16,000 below what we paid and this does not even include taxes, tags or interest. This settlement is unfair! We would never had been in this situation if VW had been honest in the first place. Now my husband and I are out all of this money and essentially "starting over" after losing thousands on this car. We can't even wait 2 more years to settle or risk VW not coming up with a fix because at the rate they are depreciating the value of his car due to milage it won't be worth anything in the buy back in 2018. We are not happy. I on the other hand have a 2013 Beetle Convertible TDI. I only put 7,500 miles a year on it. VW is still a couple of thousand below what I know it was worth in Sept. 2015, because 2 VW dealerships sent me offers to buy back my car and told me they had buyers waiting. I had no intention to sell my car and did not keep the offers. Now I'm regretting that because I have no proof. My first car was a 1968 bug and we really liked our VW's, but after this we won't stick with this company.

You are absolutely on target. The terms of the deal do not take into account that you must now start over with a new vehicle. Money that you already spent to purchase a new vehicle will have to be spent again. Of course, the government and lawyers don't care about that, they are getting their own windfall from this fiasco.

We are in a similar situation in California. We paid a premium of some $6,000+ to get the TDI vs. the non-TDI Jetta. If the buyback option was a reasonable value that more appropriately reflected the additional cost of purchasing a diesel PLUS that $5,100 cash, then pursuing the buyback would be a no-brainer.

Instead our one-car family must now determine whether to take the $12,500 and use that as a down payment for a new car (read: new car loan/additional debt) or pocket the $5,100 and hope the car has any value, fuel efficiency, etc., left and that it will pass Smog testing in CA next time we renew our registration.

Yes, we did get some 6+ years of use of a car, but we paid the additional cost to buy a diesel with the expectation of being able to drive the car (and legitimately pass emissions testing) for 10+ years like I have with other vehicles. It's not that I'm not grateful to have an opportunity to "sell" the vehicle, rather I believe we will have been ripped off on both the buying and the buying back, given the added cost associated with purchasing a diesel car in California.

Just another example of the corporate/banking shake downs executed by the Obamanites that have taken over our government. Thank god this 8 years of midnight in America is coming to an end. It will take a generation to repair the damage these Chicago gangsters have caused. Hopefully, Holder and the rest of his Chicago gang will be warming a concrete bunk at the Super Max in Colorado by the end of next year.

Bought our then new 2015 Golf S TDI June 2015. $24,900 which included tax, license, fees, etc. While we love the car we'll most likely be accepting the buyback due to the dishonesty of VW in this whole thing and not knowing for sure what the "fix" will do for its mileage, pep and longevity. For the last 40 years we have had German cars in one form or another. Benz, Porsche, and VW. My first new car was a '68 Beetle. Sad to see it go and we'll hold on to it for another year at least. Not sure what its replacement will be but it won't be a VW.

Lawyers are requesting over $332M in fees and expenses. Across 22 appointed firms that's an average of $15M per firm. Let's assume an average of 10 people worked on the case in each firm, so that's $1.5M per person. Class members get wholesale value for their vehicle plus a few thousand dollars. Lawyers get millions. What a settlement.

Absolutely That's the only reason they took on the case. Would prefer at this point to sue as an individual. We were screwed in all directions. VW using monkeys to test their diesel exhaust is vile. Now I don't want to have anything to do with VW. Didn't feel that way until I learned about the monkeys.

Why are they allowed to deduction for mileage!? This is a scandal not a trade-in situation. I bought the car to drive it. THEY broke the law.

I agree 100%,a friend of mine has a 2009 Beetle with low mileage- he was offered $22K - MORE THAN HE PAID FOR THE CAR. I paid $28,900 for my Jetta 11 and offer is $17,900- SMH

FPChris is spot on, THIS IS A SCANDAL, NOT A TRADE IN SITUATION, though VW is calling it buy backs, I bought this car to drive it, my commute is two hours a day, I am being penalized for the extra miles at pay out vs someone who drives less, this should not even be a factor! I will not buy VW again, and I am having my family who drive older VW diesels and gas diesels trade in just so as to not associate with VW anymore, they are not doing right with this, only some people get a "fair" buy back amount, based on year of car and mileage, when that shouldn't even factor in, whereas most people are barely breaking even, and some people ending up in the minus. If this decision comes down to one judge, and there is millions on the table for payouts to lawyers and dealers, the judge should rule above and beyond the recent calculations, and give the 5100 and up payment to each owner on top of the dealer trede in value, not include it in the total!!!

Hello, I really hate the fact the epa is getting money for WHAT? Are they going to clean our air. All of our cars put together don't pollute as much as one tractor trailer. Really look it up... Diesels rule!!

We purchased our certified 09 from a vw dealer in July, 2 months before the scandal for just over 12,500 (slightly below kelly bluebook value) plus title& tax and loan fees, put $2500 cash down. VW is saying the value of the car is just over $8,000 2 months after I bought it according to NADA. I was going to put a 100k+ miles on this car over the next 5-10 years, not trade the car in 2 month after I bought it. Everyone knows you get hosed trading a good running car without issues in at a dealer instead of selling it privately. How is trade in value fair market value???????

This so called deal screws me as a leaser. Something that I didn't dois no fault as my own. I lose a ton of money on this deal. I purchased this Jetta TDI for the performance AND efficiency. If I keep the car and have to get the fix. ..there goes both and I continue to pay for the price of a better car. Only getting half of what the owners get in stipulation is crap. They make more off of me with a lease. I paid 5k down...I will never recoup that. We leased for creative financing with low yearly milage with every intention to buy out at the end of the lease.

If we terminate lease we are not subject to early termination few but all other lease agreements...mileage. So whatever restitution we get will go toward passing for the mileage and we'll have to pay a few grand as well. With intent to purchase I'll also be out the money for tinting and clear bra. A thousand. That is even if we could terminate and but back cuz the settlement says that the buy back and early terminations can't be resold by VW.

SO we either have to early Terminate or wait for lease maturation AND then pay the mileage. A few grand plus restituion. AGAIN at no fault of my own. This is not a deal. I have a 2014 to of the line in option TDI Jetta. I can't believe it's worth in this settlement. Well have to consult with counsel about other options. VW is getting off cheap her with the owners and leasers. Who cares about the penalties. ..does the consumer no good.

I am in the same situation. Same model, year, and lease. Same mileage concerns.

Tell me about it - 2015 Audi A3 TDI - I have an inflated monthly lease payment to bring the residual value down after 3.5 years because I intended to buy it. The restitution payment of $4,400 doesn't even cover the $4k I put down, the $400 3M crystalline tint, the Audicare service package, the $1,200 tire and wheel and paintless dent warranties and modifications done to the car prior to last September.

Part of this settlement for us lessees should have been modification of the residual value to take into account what it's worth now, refund of unused warranties/service contracts and 100% of the owner restitution payment, not 50% of it. They make it out like they're doing us a favor by letting us out of our leases!! I brought all this up with Hagens Berman who I'm part of the class with - they weren't interested.

It would be nice if this also stipulated discounts for TDI owners who have to buy another car - for example - hand back the TDI to a VW or Audi dealer and you automatically get 15% off a new VW or Audi. I'm sure they'd want this money back, but right now I can't see me going back to them.

It sure doesn't feel like I am coming out even, let alone on top. Bought car 20 days before scandal announced. So $3000 below sticker, $4500 down, $2000 extended warranty, 12 months of payments and I'm getting $4500? Not a good deal. However if I leased through VW or if I was upside down through VW credit I would get more!!!!!! Seems like thats a way to give money back to themselves

I thought things would be done fairly for VW owners who were lied to. However, I got my booklet in the mail today. The initial chart says a 2013 Passat SEL would be bought back for $26,807 to 26, 927. However, when I went to complete the account through their portal, they dropped the value of my car to $21, 925. Another computer gliche, huh, VW????????????????????????????

The same thing is happening to me. Have you gotten any reasoning for it? Even if I change the claim to the vehicle having only 1 mile on it the return value is still $5,000-$6,000 less than their chart.

In the VW booklet I received in the mail this week, detailing the settlements, it is stated only twice that "To qualify for an Eligible Seller Restitution Payment, you must identify yourself (and Volkswagen must receive any mailed Eligible Seller Identification Form) during the Eligible Seller identification period. This period will run until September 16, 2016. FTC, this is a very short deadline. While the website claims that everything I enter (ie, a decision to sell or wait for a fix) is not binding, this particular deadline is sneaky, especially when I read here and elsewhere that "there is no rush" to file...we have two years to decide. The way this is worded, if you don't identify yourself as someone who might want 'in", you could lose out (on top of VWs lame mileage-based baloney payouts). Please let us know more about this particular deadline, and what it means. Thank you.

A person who owned an eligible car on September 18, 2015 and later sold the car could be an “eligible seller.” If you are an eligible seller and you want to qualify for a restitution payment, you should identify yourself by September 16, 2016.  

The September 16, 2016 deadline applies only to people who want to be eligible sellers.

What if my car was totaled? Do I qualify as an eligible seller?

Please look at the FTC Approved Consent Order for information about how the vehicle condition may affect your options. The Approved Consent Order is available on in the Court Documents, Forms & Notices section.

I just now found out that there was a separate deadline for this. I sold a Golf that placed me into the "eligible seller" category. We still own a Sportwagen. I went on the website to register both vehicles after receiving a reminder email. The extremely short deadline of Sept 16, 2016 date is deceitful. All paperwork and websites said no rush on them. Everything mentions 2018. Placing a shorter deadline on registration is just wrong and they know it. I've called VW settlement people but no one answers. You can only leave a voicemail.

How can they legally set a deadline that is before the court ruling was even complete? The FTC needs to step and force them to extend the registration deadline.

There are a lot of valid points here and I can definitely see why people are upset. While the cash payouts to owners seem high at first glance, looking at all the facts and what a lot of people wanted to do - own a high-mileage car for a long period of time, VW has really hurt owners in this and the settlement is insufficient.

1. VW should provide the same deal for those who leased as "owners". Leasing is another form of financing, and for the majority of TDI owners who intend to keep their vehicles for a long time, this hurts them equally to owners but with half the compensation.

2. For vehicles purchased outright, the sales tax on the buyback amount should be refunded. IE, if VW is buying back your vehicle for $15,000, they should give you the equivalent of tax on that $15,000... due to the fact that you cannot use this as a trade-in.

This is not a good deal, let alone a fair deal.

It is really too bad that the elapsed time for filing a claim under the NY State Lemon Law has passed for me. My 2010 first generation TDI Sportwagen TDI under the current diesel gate settlement would have required the dealer here to buy back my car at 100% of what I paid driving the car off the dealer lot in December 2009. But then again VW committed fraud by not disclosing a problem that could have been addressed under the NY State Lemon Law WHEN I originally purchased the car. They (VW Corporate) knew there was a problem then but deliberately chose to keep those details secret from those consumers now affected with the current buyback/repair/late compensation issues. The NY State Lemon Law should be made effective to address VW's fraudulent treatment of customers under its purview.

So what do we do if we don't agree with the buyback amount? Opt out of the Class Action entirely (and then what do you do?). OR Include yourself in the Class Action and object to the settlement (must be done by Sept 16, 2016)? Has anyone contacted any of the lawyers listed in the settlement document?

I sent an e-mail to the lead attorney for class action. I tried to explain that the proposed remedy was not fair. Here's the reply I received.

"Thank you for your comments. Although the EPA/CARB has not yet approved any emissions modifications, it remains on track to do so, and the Court directed us to negotiate a settlement that assumes modifications will be available, rather than wait, since one overarching goal of the interrelated government and class settlements is to reduce and repair environmental harm by either fixing cars or getting them off the road. That’s why the settlement enables you to keep your car- it remains legal to drive- and await an approved fix- and then decide whether that fix works for you, based on full disclosure of any impact on mpg, performance and durability. Approved fixes will come with extended emissions warranties and new lemon law protections, to enable you to keep and drive your car for as long as you originally planned to when you bought it. If there is no fix approved for your car, all bets are off- you can then choose a buyback, or you can withdraw from the settlement. This failsafe provision gives owners the collective leverage necessary in the unlikely event they have an unfixable car. This provision enabled us to reach a deal now rather than later. The total buyback payment (clean trade value + owner restitution payment) on your car is frozen as of pre-scandal ( Fall 2015), and exceeds clean retail. The clean trade value, which the market reserves for cars in pristine condition, applies to all cars in the settlement regardless of their actual condition, and cannot be reduced. All VW/Audi dealers must participate in the settlement, to make either doing the buyback, or obtaining the fix, most convenient. This “clean retail +” total enables you to purchase a car comparable to, or newer than, your 2014 Jetta. You can obtain your exact buyback payment and fix payments through the claims portal on the settlement website. If you have any problems navigating the settlement website, or have further questions about the settlement, please feel free to contact us."

Seems like the lawyers are more interested in settling the case and collecting their fees. The fees requested are in excess of $300M.

By the way - if you object to the settlement write an objection letter as spelled out in the settlement packet you received. Make sure you follow the direction on what to include in the letter. Sign it, and snail mail it to all three parties identified.

They're requiring objections in writing via snail mail because it takes more effort than e-mail and will deter a lot of people (too much trouble). Don't be one of those people. Make the effort. Advocate for yourself!

I got my booklet the other day & inputted all necessary information (2014 VW Passat SEL TDI) here's what I got from the deal....If I choose the buyback option: Buyback amt: $28,486.73
Vehicle return amt: $21,250.00
RestitutionAmt: $7,236.73
Owe bank amt: $23,000
Money you get: $5,486.73

Fix you get $7,236.73. This is to assume if they can fix the car (the fix is not approve by EPA yet) so what happen to the restitution amt of $7,236.73 if the fix is not approve? This deal is a little bit "murky" to me.

I wondered the same thing. If I take the restitution and opt for a fix, but they can't fix and must buy my car back, what happens then? If I spend the restitution money, a buy-back later will leave me upside down by thousands of dollars. It's a VW credit loan, so wouldn't they have to forgive it? Or would I be screwed? If I could take $7k cash now, drive the car for another year, then still get it bought back with my loan forgiven, why on earth should I take the buy back now for less than $2k?

We already submitted all the paperwork and chose the modification. VW said in the email to call dealership for appointment but you can't make an appointment because modification is not approved therefor you can't get the restitution payment, which is a crock of crap. We were only offered $3100 which is a smack in the face for consumers, the lawyers are making out with far more money. Once again consumers are stuck with the bill and waiting. VW is not doing enough.

If the fix is not approved you can then revert to selling your car back. You're NOT locked into that option until it's approved.

ALso, you can choose to sell back your car as late as Sep 1 2018 (just not a single day after keep in mind) - and you'll still get the full amount of the buyback. WHich means YOU CAN DRIVE DEPRECIATION FREE and sell back your car in 2 years for the same amount you could sell it back for this fall. I'd drive it until Aug-Sep 2018 then sell it back personally.

There's a DEPRECIATION because the amount that they will offer you will be LOWERED because of your mileage plus you have to maintain that car for 2 years that if you're lucky the car will have no MAJOR breakdown.....this is not a win-win situation for the buyer.

My wife and I are very dissatisfied with the trade-in value and loss of sales tax. The trade-in values computed by the settlement website seems dismal. I hope FTC doesn't finalize the agreement and demands a full retails sale price from VM instead of a trade-in value request VW to also compensates for state sales tax. VW should need to publicly disclose the values it is giving for vehicles so values can be compared to a third party source. Prior estimates by consumer reports sounded much higher. Fraud was involved, owners shouldn't feel like they are getting shafted, VW should.

The FTC paperwork on BuyBack options is not included in the website. The value they are offering does not even come close to what was filed with the FTC. This is some seriously shady business.

Follow the link on the VW settlement page titled "Court Documents, Forms & Notices" to see the FTC consent decree and related documents.

You can also find the documents on the FTC website.

We were thinking wouldn't it be nice if VW let us trade in the car, for a new one at trade in value (hmm isn't that about right) give us something to buy back. Maybe 0% for the loan. I mean we all were planning on driving these tdi's to the end. I don't want their deal. They don't offer enough, with trade in value and to get the fix is not the car we purchased. We were going to OPT OUT (maybe if enough people did) Well, I would think they want this mess over and done with. Some people are making out on the deal... Some not so much, some not at all. We bought into the warranties, just got the timing belt/water pump service done. We are not ok with the offers. VW ... take care of your loyal customers please. At least give an option 3. Let us buy a car at trade in value with 0% interest loans.

BLA BLAH BLAH, Dieselgate will make me a TON of money, and I'm keeping it too. I'm going to use all the money VW gives me to buy an old Diesel Truck with no emissions at all, then I'm going to drive it 90% of the time and park my TDI in the garage.


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