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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


Will we be able to turn in these cars on Nov. 1? I want this over. I am afraid to drive my car for fear of wrecking it. Need to have the exact date so I can move forward with locking down another vehicle.

As of October 13, the timeline on says the settlement program will begin in Fall 2016, pending court approval. You can go to or call r you can call 844-98-CLAIM for updated information.

I can't comprehend what is the rush to return these economical high torque little TDI vehicles? Any car you will replace with sure will not provide the fraction of benefits you would get from TDI equipped VW's. For starters, if you choose EV, the fun part of driving is up in the smoke. Second, if you choose gasoline powered engine, may be the fun factor still will be there, but you will have a great fuel penalty. The prudent thing to do is to wait for the fix and see how the vehicle performs.
If there is discernible fuel penalty along with performance, go ahead and return it. Remember you have 2 years to do the return. I just don't get the excitement among some of the owners to get rid of perfectly beautiful car. Driving 125 mile round trip to work my 2010 TDI consistently delivered 45 MPG city/freeway driving. I carpool with 2 of my coworkers, one drive hybrid hyundai sonata, the other one drives 2015 mazda6 the fuel econ of both cars have not exceeded 32 miles. Doing the same commute with them, my little Jetta effortlessly delivers over 48 miles/gal and does so with its lovely low revving engine.

Went to and determined I'm an eligible seller but wasn't notified of the settlement. A friend told me about it. What are my options at this point? Can I still participate? Current owners have until September 2018 to decide, why was it such a short window for sellers?

You can call VW 844-98-CLAIM and ask why you didn't get the notice, and what your options are now.

Has there been any adjustment to the buyback option as when I ran the numbers over a month ago on my 2009 Jetta Sportwagen TDI with 170K miles the result was very low. I was hoping to see a return of the $5100 compensation or most of it after my loan is paid off but I was offered under $400. I guess this is due to the mileage but who wouldn't have 170K on a 7-8 year old diesel?!? I thought they were trying to do the right thing and hope I could at least get enough out of the car to put a down payment on a replacement. Thanks

The amount you will receive for a buyback depends 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. 

You can use these charts to estimate how much you will receive:

These factors also affect compensation:

The total amount you get from the FTC charts is equal to the total amount on Volkswagen’s claims website. Volkswagen divides the 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 bought my 2015 Golf on September 5, 2015, less then two weeks before the scandal became public on Sept 18, 2015. I didn't hear about it until a month or so later... VW was knowingly doing this since their 2009 model years, The defeat device and vehicle emissions cheat software issue was first identified by WVU back in May, 2014. Apparently, EPA/CARB contacted VW about this on September 3, 2015. So why is this settlement hinged on September 18, 2015?

My loan for the 2015 Golf TDI is through VW Credit, and to my great personal disappointment included all the extras the dealer sold to me... rust proofing, paint/interior sealant, road hazard warranty, extended service contract, VW Care maintenance, GAP insurance... All of these in the loan to protect the vehicle and it's value for the next 10+ years! And all of these protections for a vehicle valued, as determined by VW and FTC and this approved settlement, to be only 71.7% of MSRP after less than two weeks and less than 300 miles on September 18.

Under the initial calculations and offer from VW back in Aug/Sept, the buyback offer was $1600 less than the loan. They then contacted me and indicated the whole loan would be paid off, since it was within the 130% threshold for load obligation, but with no other restitution. I'm impatiently waiting on VWs final offer, but there is really no restitution here where the intent of the settlement was to get the misled eligible owners the ability to move on and purchase another vehicle. So, it looks like I'm in the situation many are here where I'm out a car, money for down payment, out all the taxes, interest, costs of those useless 'extras', and of course all the time spent trying to comply with the program, and research all the issues about the mysterious and non-existent fixes. I'm rightfully concerned that at any day and time this car could be in an accident (commuting around DC) while waiting for VW to get this thing off my hands. Everything was submitted to them in early November, and not one communication from VW has occurred.

BTW, please don't just recommend the VW Court settlement site, VW Claims portal, and/or trying to call the Claims line. It is a waste of time and exceptionally aggravating. The VW dealer is useless, too. Their "VW Rep" is actually a contractor (Concentrix?) and was sympathetic, but useless. Who would I contact if I believe their buyback offer is unfair given that they are automatically depreciating the vehicle over 28%, when it had less than 300 miles on it Sept 18? At that time, I was finishing up a job where I worked from home and didn't drive much at all. I was starting a new job in Oct/Nov where I would need to commute about 100 miles a day... hence the need for the VW 'Clean Diesel' Golf TDI. The buyout mileage adjustments penalizes incorrectly for what was actual back on Sept 18, 2015.

So how do the misled VW TDI consumers who are not happy with the buyback settlement proceed? Is there an appeal process with VW, and how would it be initiated? With the VW Rep (i.e. contractor)? Would I contact Ankura Consulting, and lodge complaints with the Independent Claims Supervisor? If not satisfied, what are the 'Opt-out' options? Are there other pending class actions that represent those who opted out of this settlement? Maybe I should go sit outside David Detweiler's office in Herndon (the attorney for VW Group of America who signed the final FTC order for VW)???

Thanks in advance for reading and responding to my rant.

I want to turn mine in, because if iI keep it and accidentally wreck it, it is basically worthless.

Any word yet on the outcome of the VW TDI court settlement today?

As of 1 pm EDT today, no.

What happens if you opt for the buyback and you purchased an extended warranty for the vehicle at the time of purchase?

My understanding is that your warranty will be prorated and you will receive money for the unused portion. If you owe money on your car loan, then the refund will go to the lender to reduce your outstanding principal.

I am going with the buy back but i have a question. The vw dealer sold me my used 2014 in may of 2016. I heard about all this on the news in june. So ive been making my payments and parked my car. Ive already purchased another car but ive been told i can use the holder rule with vw credit for my next payment in october. Is this true, i dont feel i should have to pay for a car thats most likely going to be turned in in a month or less. Also should i be seeking a lawyer since they knowingly sold me my car under this recall?

To find a lawyer, you can use this state-by-state list from the American Bar Association or visit this site from the State Bar Associations. You can also contact VW at or call 844-98-CLAIM.

The Court Documents, Notices & Forms on includes the proposed class action settlement agreement. The proposed agreement lists the name and contact number for lawyers who represent the people taking the buyback.

Question for you Bridget, is there a 2 steps modification for 2nd generation VW (2012-2014 Passat)??? see below about the 3rd generation engine statement from VW:

Two-Step Approved Emissions Modifications for Generation 3 Vehicles. Assuming EPA and CARB grant the necessary approvals, Eligible Vehicles with Generation 3 engines will need to be modified in two steps.

Accordingly, Eligible Owners and Eligible Lessees of Generation 3 Eligible Vehicles who elect an Approved Emissions Modification will be offered two-thirds (2/3) of their Restitution Payment upon submitting their vehicles for the first stage of the Approved Emissions Modification and the remaining one-third (1/3) of their Restitution Payment, as well as a free oil change with respective engine oil filter, to the Eligible Owner or Eligible Lessee, upon submitting their vehicles for the second stage of the Approved Emissions Modification.

If ownership of the Eligible Vehicle changes after the first step but before the second step, then the second payment will be made to the owner of the car at the time it is submitted for the second stage of the Approved Emissions Modification. The amount of any mileage adjustment to the Restitution Payment will be based on the mileage reading on the Class Member’s first visit.

Please look at the information at to answer this question. If the information isn't there now, you can call 844-98-CLAIM, and/ or return to the as information may be updated.


I bought my TDI in November 2015. I heard rumor that if an eligible seller does not submit a claim that their portion of the settlement would then go to the buyer. Is that true?

Thanks for the response Bridget!

I bought my TDO 3 weeks before the scandal came out. I understand the buy back policy but whathe I want to know is will i get the money back that I paid for my gap insurance as well as money for interior protectant? I paid cash for both and have the dealership papers to prove it.

The FTC's Proposed Order (available at includes Attachments that will help you calculate what you'd get for buyback or modification. The Attachments list the options that can affect how much you'll get for buyback or modification. Some of those options are premium stereo, power sunroof and navigation package. Check the charts to see if the options you're interested are included.

Any word on WHEN I will get my notification that my documents (complete and submitted on 10/7) have been reviewed and when a check will be ready for me at my local dealer?

On October 18, 2016, there was a hearing in federal court about the proposed VW buyback & compensation. The judge did not make a final decision on October 18.

The judge said he will issue a final decision in the matter by October 25, 2016. After the judge issues a final decision, the FTC and VW will have more information for people about the buyback and compensation timeline.


Hiya, B - I have been trying to learn what/how the Judge's ruling on 10/25 has changed my status, if at all.. Apparently not. I am told NOW the review of my documents will start, and take up to 20 days... then I will get an "offer"/quote in writing (by email) and when I accept that, a 90-day clock will start by the end of which I am to have been given a turn-in date. So I have let the car I wanted to purchase go, and await the day I see my check.... Sigh.

Although VW may have accepted your documents before October 25, VW is permitted to take 10 business days from November 1 to say whether your claim is complete.

And, after your claim is complete, VW is permitted to take 10 business days to confirm whether you’re eligible. Then, you can schedule an appointment. If you choose:

  • buyback, you will be able to schedule an appointment within the next 90 days.
  • lease termination, you will be able to schedule an appointment within the next 45 days.
  • an approved emissions modification, VW will notify you when a modification is available for your vehicle. Once a modification is available, you will be able to schedule an appointment within 90 days.


Today I got a confirmation that my claim file is complete... and "We have reviewed the documents you submitted as part of your claim with reference number 161083803. Currently, your application contains all of the necessary documentation to determine your eligibility. We are now determining your eligibility and will inform you whether you are eligible to participate in the VW/Audi Diesel Emissions Settlement Program."


Am I going to get rid of this albatross of a vehicle before the end of 2016?

Bridget Small- My 2012 Jetta was purchased by the insurance company since they said it was a total loss when we had a flood in february 2016. I drove the car up to the date they decided to come pick it up on April 27th. Im not sure why they totalled it since the damage consisted of a little wet carpet. They paid 10k and i am still paying the balance owed to Ally. The insurance company said the value was greatly reduced since the scandal and the 10k was all they owed and they would not allow me to retain salvage. I participated in the goodwill package and now vw says that although i would normally be an "eligible seller" I dont qualify because they had a dead line to register a month ago. How are they able to set a deadline in the past? Also, I live in Louisiana in Tangiphoa Parish where we just had the largest flood in recorded history of the state in August and have lost almost everything ive worked for. Ive spoken with VW at the claims number abd they just told me they were sorry and there was nothing they could do. So now im left still paying for a car i no longer have that my insurance company paid pennies on the dollar for and now they are cashing in on the settlement. Im a grown man, ex military and have been through quite alot in my life but losing everything you had and then basically being stolen from by an insurance company and kicked to the curb by VW is beginning to be to much.

You may want to talk with the lawyers who represent the car owners in the VW settlement. To get contact information for the lawyers, go to, then go to the Court Documents, Forms & Notices section. Click on Class Action Settlement, and then Setttlement Agreement. That's where the lawyers are listed.

If you want to talk to a lawyer, the American Bar Association has some free help for veterans.

You may also want to contact the insurance commission in your home state, explain what your insurance company did, and see if they can help you. The insurance commission is part of your state government, and should be listed in the state government pages online.

What's going on with the buy-back timeline? I submitted a claim online before the end of July. I was asked to submit documents by pdf online a couple of weeks ago, which I did immediately. It was my understanding the "final approval" was going to happen October 18. I don't want to put one dime into a vehicle that will not be reimbursed. I'm ready to buy a vehicle but my finances are tied up with this TDI. Please don't send me to the VW website because it offers nothing about what's changed since before the court's hearing on October 18. Did the judge approve the buyback or not? I think VW is stalling, and those of us who are stuck with these polluting cars need to sell them NOW. FTC, please advise when this buyback will happen. We've been told "as early as mid-October" and "on Nov. 1, 2016." What's the truth? I see from the order filed on October 18 that yet another "final settlement hearing" is scheduled for JANUARY for the franchise owners. I'd like to know why car owners have to wait for the dealers to be appeased -- all of them - VW Global, VW National, and every single franchised dealer -- got a share of the profits, and the car owners are forced to wait for the money we are owed. Why aren't we getting straight information from VW about WHEN we can sell back these polluting cars? I'm very tired of waiting.

On October 18, 2016, there was a hearing in federal court about the proposed VW buyback & compensation. The judge did not make a final decision on October 18.

The judge said he will issue a final decision in the matter by October 25, 2016. After the judge issues a final decision, the FTC and VW will have more information for people about the buyback and compensation timeline.

I have owned my 2009 TDI Jetta since day one I love it. I was in an accident Oct 17th the insurance company wants to total it not repair it. I am reading How to get benefits page 10 item 11-Can I get benefits ect ect I can not make sense of it. I have called the 844-98-claim # about 6 hrs ago no reply. I need help please.

You might be able to get information from the lawyers who represent the class of car owners. To get contact information for the lawyers, go to

Click on the section about Court Documents, Forms and Notices. You'll see several documents listed under Class Action Settlement Agreement. Those documents have contact information for the lawyers who represent the class of car owners.

Why do we have to wait for restitution payment if we opted for the modification? Everything is done by the VIN #. Consumers have been waiting long enough. If consumers took this much time making payments on the cars we would be fined and possible repossession. We were offered #3100 but the FTC amount was $5100. I've called every number (with wait times over an hour) with no questions answered just to get passed around from the claim #, VW corporate and dealership.,We paid the $20 notary fee on final document, paying to fax documents wasted days on the phone and computer to be told we might have to wait another year. How can they be allowed to let this happen? VW should have done loan forgiveness or put consumers in a vesicle with same loan payments plus pay all taxes.

The settlement is not replacement value. I cannot buy a car to replace the functionality of my Jetta Sportwagen TDI that gets at least the 42MPG I have averaged with the $13K that I would get with the buyback for my car.

California civil law entitles a buyer to a full refund if the sales contract involved fraud on the part of the seller, which it certainly did in the case of these TDIs. The sales contract is rescinded if the seller committed fraud. This settlement is not fair to buyers.

Why should we make a payment to vw credit this month when its going to be turned in next month? Isnt there the holders law that the ftc has sent up in 1975?

We were defrauded by VW, and they get a little slap on the wrist. These cars were sold under fraudulent claims, why isn't our full purchase price being refunded? Why weren't we asked for our input for a settlement? Is there a process for appeal for us consumers? I am disgusted not just with VW but with the court system as well.

The FTC sued Volkswagen in March, 2016 charging that the company deceived consumers with the advertising campaign it used to promote its supposedly “clean diesel” VWs and Audis, which falsely claimed that the cars were low-emission, environmentally friendly, met emissions standards and would maintain a high resale value. The FTC filed its proposed settlement order on June 28, 2016. The federal court held a hearing on the proposed orders, and heard from consumer who objected to the proposed settlements, on October 18, 2016.

Completely understand why most folks are upset but to those wanting more than the current fair market value for your car, you have to be nuts! You can't get full purchase price for a 2, 3, 4 year old car and expecting to be reimbursed for the full purchase amount after you've driven the car for years is ridiculous. Also, any mods you've made to the car are of your own choosing and VW should not be responsible. If this disaster didn't happen and you went to sell your car 10 years down the road, you'll get significantly less because of the high mileage, so expecting VW to not account for the miles you've put on the car already is also unreasonable. Get real folks!

I totally agree!! These people who put 30,000 miles on a car every year would see the value drop really quickly on literally any vehicle they could own. It's ridiculous to expect vw to pay the same amount for a car with 5,000 miles or 205,000 miles. Also, does no one use the internet before buying a car?? The amount of people complaining about buying an affected car after the news broke, they could easily have avoided that with 30 seconds of googling. Or others who are getting significantly less than their purchase price likely didn't check KBB or other car valuation services to negotiate a fair purchase price. I bought at blue book value of $21k in 2013 and vw is offering me a total of $19k through until 2018. $2k drop in value for five years of use is awesome by any standards. And for anyone who bought new - they have to know the value plummets the second they drive a new car off the lot. Unrealistic expectations!

I missed the eligible seller identification period. I sold my 2013 Passat TDI and lost money to the dealer. My VIN is eligible but I missed the 9/16 date to identify my car. Do I have any recourse?

You can contact VW at or 1-844-98-CLAIM or contact the lawyers who represent car owners in the class action settlement.

I have now been on hold with the phone clam's number for 90 minutes!

I must update my post, I miss stated the time I've been waiting on hold with the VW clams. It's now been 3 hours.

4-1/2 hours on hold with VW claim's. I give up.

For some reason, VW wants a power of attorney form. I called them and got a young girl whose job was only to answer phones. She said they would have to reset my account to correct the problem. Gave no timetable. This will set us back weeks I fear. I have my car sitting, so it won't get into a wreck. We are scheduled to be out of town on vacation in 2 weeks and as of now, no vehicle for the trip. VW needs to do their reset now and get this thing moving.

I bought my 2015 A3 TDI five months before the scandal. My combined payout including restitution will be about 98% of what I paid including sales tax and destination charge. Fact: I drove it for 1-1/2 years and just under 25K miles for about $2 per day excluding insurance and diesel. The car handled poorly but I loved the fuel economy. Over its lifetime it averaged 47.5 mpg combined city / highway which is phenomenal. What's not phenomenal is the EPA's ridiculously tight diesel emission standards. Had the limits been a teeny weeny more lax none of this power tripping and fines by the US government would have occurred. But it's done and almost over. I'm finished with Audi/VW for life. Back to a Ford truck made in Michigan U.S.A.!

What are the options if you were not notified in time to register as a eligible seller for the sept 2016 date? Does that mean its a loss?

You can contact VW at or contact the lawyers who represent the class settlement group.

Hi, I was not notified of the eligible seller September deadline either. Any luck with your claim?


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