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What does the record VW settlement mean for you?

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If you have a TDI 2.0-liter diesel Volkswagen or Audi, you may already know that you have new vehicle options — ones that you probably didn’t anticipate when you bought or leased your car.

No, we’re not talking about a sunroof or premium sound system. The options we’re referring to came about with the historic $10 billion settlement of the FTC’s deception case against VW. The FTC alleged VW falsely advertised these cars as “Clean Diesel” vehicles after rigging them so that their emissions controls operated fully only during emissions testing.

The settlement requires VW to compensate people who bought or leased these “Clean Diesel” cars. If that includes you, you can opt for either an all-cash buyback from VW that will pay more than your car’s current replacement value, or — if approved by environmental regulators — technical modifications to the car and a separate cash payment. Buybacks could start later this year.

How do you choose? Visit VWCourtSettlement.com to investigate your options. Enter your car’s vehicle identification number (VIN) or answer a few questions to find out if you’re eligible for benefits. If you are, you can register on the website and find out how much you can receive. Or, call 844-98-CLAIM and ask.

The affected cars include 2009 through 2015 Volkswagen TDI diesel models of Jettas, Passats, Golfs and Beetles, and the TDI Audi A3. Most people have until September 1, 2018 to submit their claim.

The official buybacks won’t begin until a court approves the settlement. If you get an offer from a different buyer for your car before then, compare it with the amount you're eligible to receive under the settlement. The offer could cost you money. And remember — you don’t have to use the money you get to buy a new car and, if you buy a car, you don’t have to buy it from the dealer where you drop off your car and you don’t have to buy a VW or Audi. How you spend your money is up to you.

Tagged with: car, settlement
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Money & Credit

Comments

What about other year vehicles who have recurring emissions problems like the 2007 VW Passat 2.0T? Is anyone looking into this issue for owners?

My 2009 VOlkswagen jetta has some problems with it too like the other day i had my VOlkswagen jetta worked on with the oil vacuum pump leaking badly and today my Engine light comes on they did something to it

Guess the 2003 TDI Jetta is NOT in the settlement - Yet! Watchful waiting just in case the opportunity arises. Right now, 2009 through 2015 are the years included. Thanx

When we do receive the buy-back monies will that be considered income and be taxed, and then if we buy a car with said monies will we have to pay tax on that portion of the buyback monies, because we did pay tax when we bought the VW and we paid interest when we got the loan so we have to do that again? Some how I think we are supposed to be wowed about the buyback money and forget about the "other hand". If anyone has any information I would love to hear. Thanks.

Good questions. I also think we should be able to receive a tax credit against a new car purchase - as if we are trading the VW in even if we don't buy a VW or Audi.

My 2013 Diesel TDI is eligible for the buyback. Now I'm afraid to even drive it because what happens if I have an accident and it's damaged or even totaled? How does that affect my buyback?

Please read the information on vwcourtsettlement.com.

The frequently asked questions includes information about what happens if your vehicle has been in an accident, and dozens of other questions.

So here is what I see under the FAQ:

"As long as your vehicle is operable under its own power, and you still have the title to it, you can schedule a Buyback and drive it to your preferred Volkswagen or Audi dealer. If your vehicle is not operable under its own power, you can check the Online Portal to learn the amount of your Buyback and Restitution payment, and attempt to negotiate with your insurance company for a payment to repair it."

The first sentence seems clear -- if someone rear-ends you, don't bother getting the car fixed. Just cash in at VW at Sept. 2015 / court settlement value.

The second sentence is clear as mud. "[A]ttempt to negoitiate with your insurance company ..." ?? What does that mean? Does this mean that we need to maintain full Collision coverage to be in a better position to negotiate with insurance company?

I don't have a diesel but a VW. What I have noticed is that the value dropped on all VW's as a result of the lost of trust with the company. Anyone else see this as problematic? Just wondering.

Annoying points to owners who've been involved with this process... On a suit that involves hundreds of thousands of cars, a recent article reported only 1200 some comments were made on the settlement deal. While there could only include the people with a problem with the settlement, I think it more highlights the fact that neither the court nor VW actively solicited comments and opinions directly from owners. Only people who were in forums, etc and who knew the details had a good line on how to respond.
Many owners will be presented with the deal, not knowing they had a chance to speak up.
That being said, the same article said the settlement was going to proceed without any significant changes recommended in the comments and complaints.
One oft-noted complaint was that the buyback amount was to be based on NADA clean-trade value of the car. This ammounts to a multi-thousand dollar loss of value for many affected vehicles.
Adding insult to injury, in addition to using the lower of the two NADA values, those of us in states where a vehicle's trade-in value is deducted from the price before sales tax is figured are taking another thousand dollar loss as the buyback is treated as a sale... not a trade. There's not a mechanism in place to say "this money I'm paying towards my replacement vehicle should be treated as a traded vehicle....only tax me on the difference."

The FTC started its calculations with the National Association of Auto Dealers ("NADA") Clean Retail value for a vehicle before the scandal broke - "what a person could reasonably pay for a vehicle [in good condition] at a dealer's lot."  The proposed private settlement starts its calculation with the pre-scandal NADA Clean Trade value. Nonetheless, using various adjustments to significantly increase payments above Clean Trade, the proposed private settlement provides the same appropriate, generous compensation as the FTC's settlement package.

The Commission started calculations with the Clean Retail value, then added other losses consumers incurred, and would incur, because of Volkswagen's deception, including the "shoe leather" cost of shopping for a new car, sales taxes and registration, the value of the lost opportunity to drive an environmentally-friendly vehicle, and the additional amount "Clean Diesel" consumers paid for a vehicle feature (clean emissions) that Volkswagen falsely advertised.

The final judgement should have happened yesterday, 10/18/2016, and yet while I have been following the news and watching the website for updates, there is nothing there. I want to return my car today. The dealers are clueless about when VW will set appointments and I'd like an answer as to how to get my check. VW, please update your court settlement website now.

This is a bum deal, at least for Californians. How could it possibly be that the great deal i got on a used vw jetta wagon last year turns out to be twice its nada value? Even with the $5100 i'd still lose $1,000 if i sell back the car.

I filled out all the paperwork on the settlement portal and they said to expect a reply within 10 business days. It has now been 15 business days and I haven't heard anything. Calling the claim number says that "claims are taking longer than expected to be processed". Not surprised they are dragging their feet.

Why is taking so long to get paperwork in order they have known about this for over a year and have verified Im still owner 3x they should have a deadline for the buy out. Is there anyone overseeing VW. Call the hotline now and you dont even get to speak to anyone just says check portal.VW dealers are left in dark about whats going on people trying to move on with this issue yet VW just dragging it out.Absolute disgrace VW should not be able to sell any vehicles until this issue is rectified.

I tried submitting the 7 page acceptance letter three times, then they lock me out of the portal. This morning I got another email from VW saying that the info I faxed to them was "incomplete". They suggesting clicking on "chat" so I tried that and the so-called chat line didn't open. Then I tried calling, and so far I've been on hold (with horrible music screaming in my ear)for 40 minutes. I'm going to set the phone down now and see how much longer I'm on hold. They CLEARLY do not want to do the payout.....

I uploaded my documents but realized they uploaded as blanks, so I then faxed them to the number given. This was the first business day after I received my letter from VWA. No response for 2 weeks, so I called and actually got through to a helpline person early on in the first week of December. I told him that I had already faxed the documents 11/21. He said he's check and notify VW that the fax was sent. Returned from a business trip and checked this morning. Portal said "Awaiting Document Fax" or some such. I called again and couldn't get anyone. The system was overloaded. I faxed the documents yet again. This afternoon I called and actually got someone to help. I explained that they had had my signed and notarized offer letter since 11/21 (3 weeks ago)! She said it may take several weeks and have a nice holiday then check back after the new year. Meanwhile I bought a new car, not wanting to drive the Jetta as it is, but I'm still paying the car payment. Will VW pay us back for the payments we are still having to make on these vehicles, just because they are swamped and can't seem to process claims in a timely manner!???!!!

My wife and I went to Rusty Wallis VW in Garland Texas to settle up and allow VW to buy the car back based upon their written letter to us on 11/2/16, today (12/13/16) was the first day that my wife and I were both available to execute settlement. When we arrived at the dealership, the "buyback specialist" had us sign over the title, odometer disclosure settlement, keys, and the car, but to our surprise the settlement was nearly $600 less than their 11/2/16 letter, the car has been locked in our garage and not gaining miles. We objected to the settlement and I felt that we should walk out and pursue other avenues, but my wife was so frustrated with VW that she opted to take the settlement and never have to deal with VW again. My advise is to fight it out if you are in position to do so. I will take this issue up with VW again. Buyer beware, VW has already lied to us and committed a deception regarding the "clean diesels" now they aren't even abiding to their own agreements that were in writing. I have owned three VWs during my life, but now feel that we will forever take our business elsewhere.

Today I contacted the Federal Trade Commission and outlined the bad faith on part of Volkswagon. The official complaint has been lodged.
I reiterate my earlier statement that I don't believe that VW is capable of following the agreed order from the District Judge.

It is unbelievable the manner in which VW is handling the buy back settlement with consumers. I am beyond frustrated and annoyed with VW and will never buy another VW vehicle again. VW is not adhering to any timelines or the written agreements nor do they even care. All lies and continued deception. They are purposely dragging their feet and forcing owners to continue to drive their vehicles (and pollute the air) so that they can deduct even more money from the final buy back offer for "mileage adjustment". Just like other owners that have posted complaints, my documents were faxed twice and uploaded to the claim portal which is really a black hole. I have called numerous times about the status of my claim and each time I am given a different answer and a different timeline. I'm constantly instructed to check the claim portal for updated information that doesn't exist. The wait time to speak to a representative is absolutely ridiculous. The recorded message indicates that VW will send your offer and respond within 30 days from the time your claim documents are accepted. What they fail to say is that the 30 days starts from the day your completed documents are sent to their audit department! Another black hole that can take 2-3 weeks. The excuse is that they are overwhelmed with claim applications. I was told today from a supervisor that they can no longer provide owners with any timelines because VW can't handle the volume of claims. But they are really sorry and they understand my frustration. Bottom line is that they could care less and are purposely trying to drag this out as long as possible. The buy back offer should be based on the mileage that was entered when the application was submitted not when VW gets around to settling. VW consumers are being penalized because of their inability to process claims on a timely basis. Totally disgusted.

The process was fairly simple for me. Remember over 50% of the 475000 or more owners are taking the cash deal so there is going to be a lot of car work and people flooding the lines so be patient. I called twice for answers to my questions and took about 60 minutes to reach a second level person to answer my questions. She reviewed my documents quickly and gave me an answer to the questions. What may be frustrating to some people is the document upload process involved 2 steps and there is a wait of a few days between the time the 1 st upload is completed and the second so the docs can be reviewed. Once approved it was harder to find a date or time that was good for to return the car since dealerships in my area generally were trying to setup appointments during the day time. The person at the dealership that I turned my car into was utterly disorganized and did not know much about the payment process. At our meeting, we signed limited power of attorney letters for the sale of the car ( which was not mentioned by the VW settlement website) and just received an email confirming that the car was turned in. It felt wierd turning in a car and the person not taking any bank routing numbers to process Electronic payment. To save yourself so frustration, please read the email you will receive which states once you return the car it will take 1 -3 business days after the car is accepted to receive an email from Chase, who will then ask for your bank information. I was paid the next day after receiving the email.
To the ones who have complained about the settlement process, my advice is to carefully read all documents and emails. If you read them carefully the process is fully explained regarding mileage and payment methods.

Call it ironic, but Volkswagon just recently started their zero campaign. I say V.W. has certainly chosen an apt description for their company, the term "ZERO" is very appropriate for such a base and vile organization.

Buyback after car is totaled in an accident - no clear answer???

Our 2014 diesel Passat was in an accident just before Christmas (Dec 2016). We were not at fault, have a police report, witnesses, and the guilty party was cited and issued tickets.
The insurance company is claiming our car is totaled and is offering to buy the car for about $10,000 less than buyback value.
Per Bridget Small's advice below, we've read the frequently asked questions section, and all sections, and cannot find an answer regarding how to proceed.
We registered before Sep 16 2016 and were in the process of accepting buyback.
Does anyone have any information regarding our situation and how to proceed? Thank you for your time.

JTH | September 27, 2016 | reply
My 2013 Diesel TDI is eligible for the buyback. Now I'm afraid to even drive it because what happens if I have an accident and it's damaged or even totaled? How does that affect my buyback?

Bridget Small - FTC | September 27, 2016 | reply
Please read the information on vwcourtsettlement.com.
The frequently asked questions includes information about what happens if your vehicle has been in an accident, and dozens of other questions.

Biggie F | October 14, 2016 | reply
So here is what I see under the FAQ:

"As long as your vehicle is operable under its own power, and you still have the title to it, you can schedule a Buyback and drive it to your preferred Volkswagen or Audi dealer. If your vehicle is not operable under its own power, you can check the Online Portal to learn the amount of your Buyback and Restitution payment, and attempt to negotiate with your insurance company for a payment to repair it."

The first sentence seems clear -- if someone rear-ends you, don't bother getting the car fixed. Just cash in at VW at Sept. 2015 / court settlement value.

The second sentence is clear as mud. "[A]ttempt to negoitiate with your insurance company ..." ?? What does that mean? Does this mean that we need to maintain full Collision coverage to be in a better position to negotiate with insurance company?

I filed my claim on my diesel Golf the first week in November and got all green lights on my documents as being accepted. Having heard nothing from VW I called the first week in Dec. and was told my documents were not readable. Why did I not get an email asking me to resubmit? I checked my portal and it indicates all my documents were accepted. I call the helpline again (each time I sit on hold for over 15 mins.) I want to know how to resubmit my documents. This person tells me I cannot resubmit until I get an email from VW stating my documents were not readable. I still have no such email!!! I have called repeatedly and it does no good. I finally get a very helpful lady who actually goes and picks up my file. There is a flash reflected on my drivers license so it can not be read and another document is mirror image. She dictates to me what exactly to write on the cover page, tells me to scan my drivers license and just as a precaution to rescan my document that is mirrored. She instructs me how to label every page and gives me the fAX number. I faxed it out that day,12-16-16 and got a receipt that it had been received. I still have nothing!!!!! Since my first submission, the first week in November, VW has not contacted me ONCE!! I have made every single call. Again today, I was told my license was flashed and not readable. There is no fax in my computer file. Meanwhile, the car sits in the garage, not being driven and just aging. I will not drive it in the winter weather and will not park it outside because I do not want to take the chance it will be hit. I can only imagine what hell that would be to try and resolve. I WILL NEVER OWN ANOTHER VW PRODUCT EVER!!!!!!!! They lied. They got caught. They are legally obliged to fix or buy back and they are doing nothing. As mad as I am about the buy back program, I feel sorry for the owners deciding to fix their cars. I wouldn't trust any "fix" VW does! What are all of us VW owners suppose to do? What rights do we have? Who do we complain to? Who enforces this settlement?

You can file a complaint with the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint.

When you get to the complaint screen, choose the category Other from the list on the left. When you get to the next screen, choose Automobile from the list on the right. Continue through the process and give as much personal information as you choose.

When you get to the screen that lets you tell the story in your own words, include the words diesel and VW.

I found an interesting product for sale on ebay. It is backglass decal that reads: "TDLIE" I think everyone that is disappointed in their offer should apply these decals to the back and side windows of your vehicle.

Our buyback was horrific. Vw was $12,499.00 SHORT of what our offer we had notarized and approved. They said I entered the meileage wrong it read to them I had 3450000 miles we only have 34000 miles. they closed out our claim and said they rest of the check is in the mail. It better be because this claim is NOT closed until we are paid in full. Oh and our second appointment(yes we bought TWO) they said we had 508,000.00 miles so we had to cancel and reschedule. Long story short I screen shot EVERY PAGE I SENT THEM and I have the photo of both cars mileage I entered. This is BS!!!

I "closed" -signed title and surrendered car - on March 7th. It's April 3rd and I have never received the funds. Yes - it was held at a VW Dealership designated by the official site; and yes, I call virtually every day and they never get off script - it may as well be a recording. DO NOT LET THEM HAVE YOUR CAR! I AM WARNING YOU. This appears to be a situation where they do cannot fund these purchases.

I returned the car 6 months ago and the loan is still reported on my credit report as open. DMV is still demanding proof of insurance. VW needs to do their paperwork.

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