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VW buybacks and lease terminations to begin

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Earlier this year, the FTC sued Volkswagen for falsely claiming that its diesel cars had low levels of harmful emissions. A federal judge approved the FTC order that requires Volkswagen to provide up to $10 billion to owners and lessees of VW and Audi 2.0 liter diesel cars. Here are some pointers for people who own or lease a 2009 to 2015 VW TDI Beetle, Golf, Jetta, Passat or Audi TDI A3.

  • You have until September 1, 2018 to submit a claim. You can change your mind about which option you want until you bring your car in to VW.
  • You can submit a claim on, or call 1-844-98-CLAIM to request a paper claim form. In order to complete your claim, you will need certain documents, including the vehicle title and proof of registration.
  • After you submit your claim, VW has 10 business days to tell you whether your claim is complete. If your claim isn’t complete, VW will tell you what you need to do to complete it.
  • After your claim is complete, VW has 10 business days to review it and confirm that you’re eligible.
  • After you have been confirmed to be eligible, VW will send you an offer letter. If you accept VW’s offer, you will sign the letter, get it notarized and return it to VW. After VW confirms that it received your letter, you can schedule an appointment. You will be able to choose from different options. If you choose:
    • buyback, you will be able to schedule an appointment that happens within the next 90 days.
    • lease termination, you will be able to schedule an appointment that happens 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.
  • If your car was drivable on September 16, 2016, but isn’t drivable on the day of your buyback or approved emissions modification appointment, you’re still eligible for some compensation. Visit or call VW at 1-844-98-CLAIM for more information.
  • You can choose to get your buyback or lease termination payment by check at your appointment, or have it deposited electronically to your bank account within three banking days. If you have a car loan, VW will apply your buyback payment to the loan and pay you any remaining amount. If, at your buyback appointment, your car’s mileage is more than the expected mileage range from when you submitted your claim, your buyback amount could be reduced. If that happens, you will get a check within three banking days.
  • When your buyback or approved emissions modification is complete, VW will give you an itemized receipt that shows the amount you received and explains any adjustment, such as mileage or a loan payment.

You can use the buyback money however you want. You don’t have to spend it on a car from VW or any other manufacturer. If anyone offers to buy your car outside the settlement, or pressures you to “Act now!”, walk away. If you see something that doesn’t seem to follow the terms of the settlement, please report it to the FTC.

Note: We edited this post on October 26, 2016 to clarify which payments you may get by check at your appointment. On November 17, 2016 we added information about offer letters and clarified appointment scheduling.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


Your saying that when the review is complete you have 90 days to schedule appointment.on website mine is still under review but on phone they said im good. But said you have to wait to get letter in mail than sign and notarize it than mail back than that has to be approved than you can make appointment. Thats a long time. Especially when you have a payment due to vw credit on a car your going to turn in. I would think since the approvel you wouldnt have to pay since your waiting for mail?

That's exactly what they told me. The major problem I have is that people that opted for buyout have to still make their payments on a car that is being purchased by them. I realize it is a wash out but they are taking their sweet time finalizing the whole thing. I'm signing power of attorney over because I can't wait any longer for this it's holding up my job in Europe and I'm stuck here because of this car.

We called vw financial and for $50 month car payments are waived until settlement.

I believe since trump said he wants no cars from the outside and sell american cars more in the U.S That Vw is hesitating to pay us for the buy back. I mean why not? Why would they pay so much when they dont know what trump is going to do? what if they cant continue selling cars here in the U.S no longer and paid us they can rather go bankrupt in america and continue selling their cars other places! I dont see another reason to make us wait this long and that without giving us a reason when we call customer care. They have no time frame and are rather paying penalty

you had to pay $50 to freeze your payments?

Has anyone just had the emissions fixed and took cash? Or heard of anyone doing that?

I call maybe twice a month and I'm being told that they still haven't produced a modification yet... I have 100% of my stuff done and I am just waiting for them to come out with a modification so I can schedule an appointment. I remember back when I first started this process that they said payouts would be coming in the Fall of 2016. It's 02/15/2017..... Can someone help me?

Call another dealer? Are you sure they said they haven't produced it and that they don't have it there yet?

I have a good friend who opted for the modification - she was in and out of the dealer in January I want to say? after completing the paperwork.

I filed my claim and they now want proof of acquisition which I bought from a private buyer. I financed the car and they have all that information. They are doing everything possible to NOT pay their agreement.

I submitted online and got approved documents within 10 days. They now have 10 more days for final approval or until 11/14. I did hear from the dealer that I will get a letter, have to have it notarized with my signature and send it back via snail mail prior to making an appointment.

I waited on hold for 3 hours and spoke to an actual person regarding getting the offer. I was told they will email the offer to us and we can take the offer and have it notorized and scan it back to VW via email. That way it will speed the process of making an appointment to have the car bought back.

Hi Emalia, instead of going on the online claims and uploading it they told you can email it. Do you have the email that they provided you? I still am waiting on email of final offer its been 15 business days.

Ditto, kheagy. The online portal indicated ten business days to wait for the "final offer" paperwork, and it's been more than that for me as well. I just called the VW Claims line and (shockingly!) got right through. Unfortunately the young lady I spoke to could not access any actual claims, even with a claim number provided, and refused to transfer me to anyone who could, alleging the phones were down. (Hm.) So she was able to provide only rudimentary information like when the settlement was approved.

Her advice? "Keep waiting." I find that aggravating, as the claims portal could have easily set forth a longer turnaround period. I'm not necessarily impatient, but I do expect them to actually perform promised actions on a promised timeline. Perhaps that's foolish at this point ...

How did you manage to get a hold of someone? The only way I have been able to break through beyond the automated messages is to mash the keys (not sure which keys actually got me beyond the standard menu). I submitted all of my documentation minutes after they started accepting documents and I have been waiting ever since. Now, I have noticed that "10 days" line in their confirmation message has been removed. How convenient...

I too noticed that the 10 business days had been removed from the claims website. A friend of mine with a TDI also noticed the same thing. He called the number to see what the timeline looked like, and the person he spoke to told him 20 business days.

try 248-754-3926 it is more of a direct line
my documents were submitted 10-14, opened or looked at 11-13 final offer approved 12-14 (what happened to the two 10 day windows) and I am still waiting for the offer letter. I hope VW gets tagged hard for the long response times

Thank you jim for that number. I got through in under five minutes. Over six weeks and still waiting. Called 248-754-3926 number and found out my ID was not approved but not rejected. The women I spoke with in claims was very helpful and could not understand why VW did not approve the ID. I never received a call, email or letter from VW saying it was not approved. The court settlement website claim help number is a joke as well as the online chat. If you are waiting long periods of time, I urge you to call that number.

Does anyone have the number for the offer specialist team? I have been waiting since October and they said it's been with them.

We called in early January to find out what the hold up was on our offer letter, and we were told that VW was behind, due to the holidays and a higher than expected number of buyback claims. It's not just VW owners; there's some Audi folks included, too. When we asked about being penalized for mileage overage (because they are dragging their feet, not us), we were told that if we went over our projected mileage (at the time of buyback), then VW will deduct for the overage. They could not give us an exact amount of what would be charged for the overage. We asked if it was per mile, per so many miles, how much per mile, etc. No information available. We are pretty mad that VW is going to cost us part of our settlement because they are behind and we were still driving the car and racking up mileage. We have a 2012 VW Golf TDI with just over 100K on it. My husband drives about 100 miles a day when he commutes back and forth to work. With all that being said, we decided to park the Golf until buyback, and we purchased a new Hyundai Elantra for him to commute in, and that's what he is driving now. Not a diesel, but he's averaging 35-40mpg on his commutes.

We did, just today, receive our buyback letter, and it is just over $20K, but we aren't sure how the extra miles will affect that amount. They'll pay off our loan, and we will get money in our pocket. There's no way we could sell it anywhere else and get that kind of money out of it.

So when did you submit your clam at first ?

I submitted my claim on December 8, 2016 and just returned the car yesterday (2/13/17). I had the actual title so, I had no bank loan holding up my claim. I am still waiting for email to enter bank info to get funds.

How long did it take to get your email??

i was supposed to hear something by 11/17/16. im still waiting

I am as well, it seems like these dates they tell us in the information settlement book are not set days. Someday soon this will happen I hope.

I received notice that all my documents were approved on November 21. It is now December 18. I am still waiting to get my final offer letter. Getting madder every day.

@pissed off VW owner. Same here mine was accepted on nov 21. I emailed vw after many attempted phone calls only to be disconnected, how convinent! I finally did get a follow up call last week from vw stating that I should have my offer no later than the 20th of dec as that would be my 20 days and that I would be able to set a date to buyback my passet no later than Jan 4th. Well the 20th has come and gone and still no offer letter. So I called again and I was told by representative that she was not sure why I was given an actual date since they actually don't know when the letter will be emailed. They were 20 days out but now weeks. I asked them to clarify weeks and was just told she wasn't sure but they were weeks behind! I am so sick of vw right now I wish I could shove this car up there you know what!!!! I am so irritated that no one is holding vw accountable!!! I was also told that once I have the offer letter it may take up to 90 days to complete the buyback!!! Are you kidding? Why isn't the FTC doing anything about this???? We didn't buy these cars cuz we knew they were cheating cars but we are the ones suffering in the long run!!! Where's the justice???

Finally spoke to someone on number Jim provided. Documents were accepted 4 November, but apparently did not go to their auditors until the third week of November. She said email offers normally take 3-4 weeks from that time.

I received the acknowledgement that my documents were accepted on Nov 16. I called on Dec 19 and was told just have to wait everything was ok. I called again on Jan 2 and the person I spoke to said she would expedite it. . I called again today and I relayed that someone told me they were going to expidite and she said there was no way to do this. So I asked what the delay was. After three calls and almost 60 days, she tells me there's a problem matching the names. What?? It appears I put my name as owner and co owner and thy couldn't match it. Never mind that the registration has my name and my husband' listed, they have copies of both driver licenses and the form that shows both our names on the loan info. How inefficient can they be and then to not even let me know there was something wrong. I am more than pissed. Now I have to resubmit everything again and heaven knows how long I have to wait this time around. Paying interest on a loan and not using the car.

My documents were accepted 11/08. Final offer TAT is 30 business days. 12/22 and still nothing. Contacted VW via chat. The rep stated the final offer is a two step process with 10 business days each, but they are experiencing high volumes which is delaying the review process and to expect the final offer 'within the next few weeks.'

I called the 800 number on 11/12 and spoke with someone that told me that my paperwork was in order and that my eligibility was confirmed on 11/9 and that I should be receiving my offer within 10 business of the 9th. Now today 12/2 I called, because I still
haven't received an offer, I waited on hold for over an hour. When I finally got to talk to someone I was told that they have 20 business days to decide eligibility and then another 10 business days to send an offer of buy back. This person told me my 20 business days for them to decide eligibility ended on 11/29. So now it will be another 10 business days of waiting for the actual offer. The people at the 800 are clueless and basically repeat the time frame in the court documents. I asked why I was told my eligibility had been determined on 11/9 and I should have received an buyback offer on 11/24 (but since it was thanksgiving I should've received it on 11/28) the person I was speaking with today said she had no clue and couldn't tell me why I was told on 11/12 my eligibility had been determined. She the. Repeated the time line of 20 days and 10 days. I'm so fed up with VW. I'll never buy another VW again and I'll tell anyone who will listen not to buy VW either. They just keep changing the dates and there's no recourse for us consumers. It's not like they have to pay us extra for taking their time to get the offer to us.

I've been waiting since November 21st for my confirmation on eligibility and offer. On the phone the told me my car is eligible but I have yet to receive an email confirmation including the offer. My permit expires on Jan. 31 so if not resolved prior to that I will no longer be able to use the car on the street unless I pay for a new permit ($300 aprox.). I'll just dump the car at the dealership but still need to make my payments.

Same, just made another payment on my VW loan, haven't driven the car since 11/30/16. Called on 12/28/16. VW claims staff said they would escalate my claim since I hadn't heard anything. Called again 1/12/17. Claims staff said they would send this to a supervisor for 45 days without communication from VW. Said he didn't see any notes about escalating my claim from December. Freaking stupid and now that VW exec's are being federally indicted...I dont see any of us getting anything soon.
And...I dont see the FTC helping us out either. I have already filed a complaint about VW violating the terms of a court order. Neither care!!!!

We had the same issue and were told our claim would be escalated. Got our offer the next day (January 14)and now FINALLY have an appointment for March 3rd. Not a great experience but hopefully nearing the end. Will not be purchasing another VW even though we have owned these in our family for decades.

Don't be surprised if you don't see a check or bank deposit anytime soon. My paperwork went well, offer letter received, I turned my Golf in on Dec 29, was told the check wasn't mailed due to holiday mix up. I was told I would get the check in the next couple of days, it is Jan 20 and I haven't a word even after numerous calls to the claim and customer service calls. Please be careful as it seems that v w isn't concerned about us. I'm tired of being patient the Attorney General is my next call

I don't how some of you guys are having problems....???? I turned in my TDI with no issues what so ever. Check was ready for me when I got there.

People not filling things out correctly the first time. Mine went through without a hitch as well.

I signed over my car to VW ON 17 January. It took about two months for the whole process so far from the first time I logged in to the site. Here's the funny part. They have not paid off my car yet. I ma still making payments. When I spoke to their representative at the VW dealership he said it can take some time. So don't be surprised if you get paid but your car does not get paid off any time soon.

I turned my TDI in on the 27th, got paid within 5 days. My loan is still not paid off. When I called the settlement rep at the dealership, she said that they have been told it will take 15 days for the loan to get paid off. It's been over that and the loan is still not paid off....annoying.

I have the same issue calling and talking to different reps., but I called the lender who had the financing and they told me that they will report to my credit if the pay off is not paid or no payments are made monthly on the car. The lender does not care that I settled with VW because they are not paid off, so in there eyes I still owe the loan.

I don't think it has anything to do with incorrect paperwork. Mine has been approved since Sept. 2016 and I am still waiting. My Jetta sits at the airport most of the time so it only had 20k miles on it back then whereas, today it is at 24k miles. Offer will be under just for that reason and, I only owe 4K. Still waiting here today Feb . 13th, 2017. Have called many times to no avail. Can anyone explain?

I have my appointment in 2 days. They told me that I'd have to wait up to 6 business days to have the $$ deposited in my account. I wonder why that is.

Also, did you have any problems with them dinging you for anything that they found wrong with your car?

We turned our car in on Feb 4 and the settlement specialist accidentally entered someone else's mileage in our claim and closed it before we arrived for our appointment. She claimed to have called to fix it but it is now Feb 20th and we still do not have our money. Multiple calls to service line, what do we do now?? Is there no recourse for us to hold them responsible for their own mistakes?

Is this a real comment? I have heard of nobody receiving a check when they turn in the car. The verification goes back to VW, who then forward it to Chase...

Fastest way is definitely EFT. I am just waiting now on the reimbursement of my loan amount from November, which I paid off so as not to destroy my credit score...

I have the same excuse. We should get together to investigate to see if this is what they do. If so, we will go for another law suit. Return mine 2-14-17 no check.

VW settlement division is incompetent. What do you expect from cheaters. They lost 3 sets of my documents and I was on hold 3 times for 30 minutes. Will never buy another VW

Has anyone gotten money yet from the buyback? Saw the representative at the VW dealership playing on the Internet because they still have not started the buyback. He's there to handle it but vw doesn't send him anyone!!

We have two diesels covered under the settlement. One without a lien was fairly quick; it was turned in yesterday at our local dealer. The other, still under a loan, is taking forever. Still awaiting their final offer...

The liens are taking forever because every payment we make allows them to adjust the offer and give us less money. As stupid as VW was for pulling the stunt in the first place they are actually doing the buyback pretty smart, and there's literally nothing the consumer can do about it.

Jacob: After accepting the final offer. Wouldn't every additional payment we made while waiting for the dealer drop off increase the final VW payout to us? Since the payoff balance is now lower than initially on the final offer. My understanding is it would be a wash.

If you financed through VW it's not a wash bc they are still getting the interest amount. The longer they wait the more interest they accrue


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