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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


Has anyone been contacted by VW yet? After the judge's ruling on October 25. Read that this buyback was to be initiated ASAP after the judge approved the settlement.

I have had no contact since Oct 25. I keep pushing and pulling. My local dealer says to only do an oil change not the full 40k mileage service, since I am trying to turn it in asap... but no, they have not been assigned their buyback rep yet.

ASAP! That's hysterical! I uploaded my documents on 10/12. I lucked out because I happened to check in on the portal. I called the "we'll call you back" line and they said it would take up to 20 days to review the uploaded documents. One representative looked at them and said they looked clean and I shouldn't have a problem. On day 20,I received an email saying there was a problem with one of the documents. I had to take my registration card to a place that could scan it, rather than taking a picture of it. I uploaded the scanned copy and called in again. After a full day of hangups and waiting on the phone,the representative said it would be another 20 days to review THAT document! Ridiculous! I have called the dealership several times and that confounded service number. I spent the day online looking up contact information and am planning an email/snailmail campaign this weekend. I have already replaced my VW with a new car and just want to be done with this whole ordeal. A few thousand dollars doesn't even closely compensate me for all of my time and aggravation for this debacle.

I leased a 2013 VW Jetta TDI with the intention to buy after the lease was up, which is next month. At that time I was paying another car and could not afford a high monthly payment. Now that the lease is up I am in trouble because I cannot return the car due to the mileage that I put on the car (again because I intended to buy), it is way over the miles like 60K miles which means that they would charge me 11k just for the overage. With the settlement they say that they will pay me 3K. So I would start with a negative 8K if I wanted to buy a new car. They are forcing me to buy the car that is not worth the amount they want to sell because they will not lower the value of the car which means they have to follow contract that is another 14K. Not to say that they have not even gotten the approval for this famous fix they are talking about. So they broke the contract when they lied. Why should I be penalized for their error. I should not be forced to buy a car that i) is not legal because the approval for the fix has not gone through ii) if I have to buy they should sell it for a lower price because the car is no longer the car I bought with the mileage that they said I was going to get.. This was my comute car. Can someone guide me on this unique case that I have no idea what to do but I feel trapped right now. I really appreciate if someone could guide me. I have contacted several VW dealers and everyone just wants to follow the damn contract. Thank you. MF

The Long Form Notice from VW for car owners and lessees has a lot of information and lists the attorneys who represent the people in the settlement class. VW may have sent you a paper copy of the Long Form, or you can access it from the link in this response or

Is it required by law and in PA since we are a no carb state to either turn our vehicles in or "fix" them? I personally don't care about the settlement. If I didn't go to court on my behalf... Well, this whole thing didn't really happen to me. I didn't ask the government to sue another company and I didn't except any agreements..

Matt, I am also in PA and my wife and I are of the opinion that unless they pass a STATE law that prevents me from registering or insuring my car that we will just keep on driving it. I feel more betrayed by the government not doing their due diligence and making sure the car was compliant before they certified it. I love the car, it does everything I bought it to do.

The buyback amount on the claims submittal form is significantly less than expected after using the mileage adjustment forms 1A and 2B per the court settlement website.I think there is a mistake in the algorithm. I am unable to get back into the claim forms to make changes to test if the formula is in error. Should we wait until we have a buyback settlement packet and appointment with the dealership to discuss the discrepancy? I don't want to delay the process further. We want to sell the car ASAP and move on.

I'm seeing and reading the same discrepancies. And I've spent at least 13 hours on hold trying to get thru to VW. I want this settled!

I'm finding the exact same problem. The court settlement doesn't match the offer. How do we fix this?

They DIDN'T offer me what my vehicle is worth. I feel totally ripped off, there is no fix and I don't believe there ever will be one. I want to keep the wonderful car I have, not go into another car loan for another car. I think it's awful the pitiful amount they've offered me for my vehicle especially considering they lied to everyone about what they were doing. It's going to affect MY pocketbook in trying to find another car that even runs for the amount they're offering me let alone something this would even be close to the condition of my car!!

I have the 2015 Audi TDI and have only had it a year. My buyback offer appears to be $35,000 and I owe $29,000. So looks like a will get the difference, however, the online claims portal shows a $2,000 less amount than the forms I used to get the number! Also, since I paid sales tax less than a year ago for $35,000, will I get a credit for sales tax on a new car? or will I have to pay it again, which could be $4,000 that I will have paid twice in a year!?

How does accepting the buyback affect my rights under my Purchase Price Refund Mechanical Failure Service Contract? As I read the contract, the purchase price is refunded if I reach the end of the covered period (7 years or 70,000 miles) and I have made no claims under the service contract. I bought my car in April 2011, and it has 61,000 miles on it. I have made no claims, so I would be eligible for a refund of $2,491.00. But I have already replaced the car, so I can't wait another 9,000 miles to turn it back to VW.

You can read your Service Contract for information about your cancellation rights.

I can't answer that definitively but I paid for an "Audi Care" contract pre-paying for service appointments to my dealer for my 2015 A3 TDI. Once I calculated my combined payout I still felt I was owed the unused portion of this contract. I called the VW number, the one everybody is waiting hours to get through, but I called as soon as they opened so my wait was less than five minutes. What they told me was to call Audi USA directly and was told by Audi to send a snail mail letter requesting the refund. Because this contract was between Audi and myself, it is separate from the scandal buyback. Received a check for $414.00 two weeks later. So to try to answer your question, call Audi directly. They will work with us because remember, THEY ARE UNDER WORLDWIDE SCRUTINY! Although you may not have fulfilled all the terms of your contract, because of the admission to the scandal don't be shocked if they refund a portion of your contract.

Called 1-844-98-claim today, Nov. 1st. Made the call as soon as I got off of work, waited exactly 1hr 42mins until a rep. was available to help. Didn't ask him much, only if my claim was submitted properly, if my 2014 Jetta TDI qualified, and if he had a better timeline of the proceedings. Like the majority, I submitted a photo ID, copy of vehicle registration, and a copy of my auto loan agreement. According the rep., up to twenty days after the 25th of Oct. my final approval forms should be sent via email. After that, I will have to sign and get those forms notarized, then can upload/scan or fax them back. After that, I should be contacted to setup a buyback appt. Hope this helps.

Same here - I called and waited only 1.5 hours, I have called several times before but was hung up on or the call dropped after over an hour... I was told exactly the same thing. They are reviewing the documents that have been submitted and within 20 business days they will have them all reviewed. Once that is complete they will either ask for additional documents or send offer via email.

I'm not interested in the buyback. I love my 2013 Sportwagen and want to keep it. My question, which no one can seem to answer, is if I choose the emissions fix and am receiving cash back, when do I get the cash? Do I have to wait to get the emissions fix? Because if that's they case I didn't think they had an approved fix yet? And what's the timeline for this? Honestly, up until this point I have been happy with how VW has handled this but since the court approved the settlement I have experienced nothing but frustration from the website not working and getting no help from the 844# after sitting on the phone for over two hours waiting only to have them tell me that they were aware of the error code months ago but have done nothing since to fix it. I called my VW dealer today to ask the questions about when I would receive the cash and they had no idea. Poorly, poorly done, VW.

Please go to and read the Frequently Asked Questions section about Emissions Modification. There is information about the timeline for emissions modifications and how to get notification.

I already read the FAQ. I am in Texas. If I am never required to get it fixed, assuming one will become available, does that mean I never get the settlement money? There is no answer for this on the website and this is not the first time someone asked this question.

I'm sorry, I don't understand what you mean by "never required to get it fixed, assuming one will become available" and can't answer your question.

He is saying, can he take the money and not have the car fixed.

If you don't get the fix (well at least in Massachusetts) you don't get the cash

I'm confused about these #s. For my region and my 2014 sportwagen it is listing $26600 for buyback. That doesn't include the restitution, does it? Because that's far from what they're offering me!

it does! its a ripoff and most people barely break even on the purchase price of the car!

I was a diehard VW customer, but NO MORE. I have owned 4 VW Diesels and currently still own 1 of the 3. I had one that was totaled last December, but was told because I did not register as a seller prior to Sept 16th I get NOTHING for that car, even though my insurance paid me significantly less than it would have been worth without the scandal. I registered the day i got my packet in the mail- HOW WAS I SUPPOSED TO KNOW THE DEADLINE HAD PASSED?? Also- the settlement had not even been approved yet!?!?! Now I am out 7k over the whole ordeal and will never buy a VW again, whereas I would have used that money to purchase another VW. The payouts are a joke and anyone who buys a diesel will drive more than 12k miles per year.

You are having as much luck as I am with deal with VW of America .. I've down all day an hour at a time on hold only to hear, nothing we can do since you have 127,000 miles .. The milage allowance is that of one of a least car.. Which is exactly why i didn't lease a car. I could never have stayed in that 12,500 a year mark.

Can anyone tell me what they are wanting for the vehicle registration? I uploaded the document that says "title and registration" and they declined it so now I have uploaded the actual title. Can anyone help? I have not been able to get through and have left messages and sent emails and getting no response from VW/Audi.

I finally was able to get a hold of someone. I guess a form needs to be completed to release them to pay off a loan on a vehicle. The form is buried in "Documents" and "Forms" on the VW Claim portal. This is the form that must be completed and uploaded. Of course, now that I know that, I can't edit what I have already uploaded and have to wait for them to review it again and tell me it isn't correct. What a headache!! Also, my registration has to be a Certified copy from the DMV?? So now I have to go pay $12 to get the DMV to print me out a certified copy!!

Received the official buyback offer today by email. Had to print the document, have my signature notarized and then return it to VW. The upload feature on the site prohibited me from uploading the whole document so I sent it Priority Mail to VW in Michigan. Upon receipt they will schedule me for the buyback. My experience SO FAR has been painless. But it ain't over. Let's see how it goes at the dealership. LOL

I just was notified by VW that my paperwork (government ID) was rejected because in addition to my NC State Drivers License, I also included my Military Retiree Identification Card. When I called the number to ask why - they said it was illegal for them to have the form of ID. When I called the toll free # - I was on hold for 45 minutes (VW promised 23-30 minutes), I checked my ID submission - and resubmitted.

The operator then told me that my current submission will be reviewed again (could be 20 days) and when it is rejected again for the Retirement ID, I can resubmit again and wait for that to be adjudicated. I tried to elevate to a decision maker, but was asked for my number and they were going to call me back. This is a single mouse click issue - that could be cleared up by them or me resubmitting. BOTTOMLINE: My car is and has been ready for turn-in with 35K miles. Why are they imposing this type bureaucracy on the consumer? I would like to purchase a new car.

I received an email saying my application was complete and my eligibility was being reviewed and if applicable I would receive a final offer in 10 business days. It's been much longer than the 10 business days. How long can I expect to wait?

To report a problem to the FTC, go to Choose the complaint category "Other" on the first screen and "Automobile" on the second screen, and includes the words "VW" and "clean diesel" in your report.

This happened to me Brian! What I did is just file a new claim with my other email address and put in the correct documents. Hoping that will cut down on the second 20-day period to tell me that the documents aren't acceptable!! It is a mess! You would think that they could do this over the phone. The help line is pretty useless.

The claim website is a disaster. Uploaded all of my documents on Oct. 26, and was notified that the title certificate was "blank"--so I accessed the site and could plainly see that is was there. So I called the help desk and after 30 minutes of waiting was told by someone that there was nothing they could do and I needed to upload again. I tried to explain that I could see the document, but they were not helpful. So now it has been well over a week with no response. This is going to be a dragged out process. It is much easier to trade a car in--literally takes minutes--why the extreme bureaucracy with this process?????

I uploaded over a month ago and I've heard NOTHING! Never again will I deal with VW!!!

Although VW may have accepted your documents before October 25, VW is permitted to take 10 business days from November 1, 2016 to say whether your claim is complete.

Bridget, thank you for the replies. How does the mileage affect the current release quotes? For example, I submitted today and it estimated mid December for an appointment (?) With the stipulation a given odometer reading. But if it takes 2 months and the odometer reading is not beyond the given range... Well what is a consumer to do?

Point 22 in the Long Form Notice VW sent you says that continuing to drive your car an average of 12,500 miles per year (around 1,000 miles per month) or fewer will not reduce your compensation under the Class Action Settlement.

This was taken directly from the court docs giving final approval of the buyback program...... "Buyback program will begin immediately upon final approval of the Settlement and entry of the United States’ Consent Decree"
Not sure thier definition of "immediate" is but mine is they are stalling......

Although VW may have accepted your documents before October 25, VW is permitted to take 10 business days from November 1, 2016 to say whether your claim is complete.

That is a total lie about the 10 business days. They claim that VW has 10 days and an independent overseer has an additional 10 business days to award the final offer.

I have a concern regarding this 10 day business window. According to my online portal at the end of October, they indicated that all my documents have been approved, and I would receive the offer within 10 business days. On November 17th, I called the claims number and was told I will receive an offer very shortly. As of today, the online claims portal has now rolled back to: "We are now determining your eligibility and will inform you whether you are eligible to participate in the Settlement Claims Program and, if applicable, will provide you with a final offer." Why did it roll backwards? They had already approved my documentation? Did I just get pushed back at the end of the line?

The people on the VW claims line are absolutely obnoxious. They now answer the call quickly, but have no information. They must transfer callers to the claims department. Probably a ploy to show that "wait times" aren't bad. Thus far today, I was told that I was being transferred to the "Claims Department", then put on hold. After a little over an hour, the call just disconnects. Their response is "the claims department is very busy"! That is no excuse for having people on hold for hours, then dropping the call... which means back to the end of the line.

This is an outrage. They clearly have not staffed adequately to handle this. When I asked for a supervisor, I was told it would take three days.

Come on FTC... they are violating the spirit of this settlement. The people on the phone are rude, condescending... and we have no way to have questions answered.

I, for one, will be filing in Small Claims Court to recover the value of my time that they have wasted on dropped calls.

How do you sue them in small claims?

Message on hold is now saying that, after documents are reviewed and accepted, they have four weeks to send the offer letter!!!!! What happened to 10 days?

Clearly, the court did not consider the capability of the third-part logistics contractor.

Is there any oversight of what these criminals are doing?

I too submitted everything perfectly at the first possible opportunity. I have 11 months left on my loan that was through a 3rd party so my monthly payment in nearly all principe anyway. I received an email from the VWGoA this morning, seven business days from the 1st of November:

We have reviewed the documents you submitted as part of your claim with reference number XXXXXXXX. 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.

The last sentence is disconcerting since my VIN was accepted through the portal in the first place and I know that my 2013 Passat SEL TDI is one of the affected vehicles. But I am going to write that off as a not-very-well-thought-out closing sentence on a form letter.

Based on my math and accounting for the Veterans' Day Holiday, I will have the opportunity to set an appointment by 11/24/16 and it will be sometime before 2/24/17.

I will be sure to post another update at the next turn.

I am in exactly the same spot you are...with the same car. I haven't heard anything yet.

Just lisend to the lengthy process on the claims phone number stating that it will be at least 4 weeks after they approve the uploaded documents, then more time we have to spend getting the offer letter notarized and uploaded and approved taking more time and then you might get a date to bring in car and finalize the claim......This is absolutely unacceptable! It might be time for the courts to step back in and get this process going. The approval documents state that the claims process will start immediately not in 10 business days or the 4 weeks that the claims number states very clearly. Also the court stated that within 10 days of Judge Bryers approval that VW place the funds in the account to handle this so whats the HOLD up?

This process is ridiculous! I can trade a car in, in about an hour. Why is it taking months to effectively do the same thing??? The rounds of "approvals" are ludicrous. Having to return the offer, notarized and witness is another unnecessary delay. Why can't we just set an appointment, then show up with the required documentation? It's easier and faster to get a passport, or be approved for Global Entry... bot of which are National security issues. Why is VW so incompetent, and allowed to get away with it?


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