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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 VWCourtSettlement.com, 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 VWCourtSettlement.com 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.

Tagged with: car, refunds, settlement
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Money & Credit

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You have until September 1, 2018 to submit a claim.

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, after a person submits a claim, VW has 10 business days to determine whether the claim is complete. If the claim isn’t complete, VW will tell the owner/lessee what he needs to do to complete it.

After the claim is complete, VW has 10 business days to review the claim and confirm the owner/ lessee is eligible.

After VW confirms that you're eligible, you can schedule an appointment. 

I rec'd word that everything was reviewed and fine. Post Settlement, Oct 25, i heard thru email, from them saying i"d hear in 8 business days about making an appt. I await the email or letter to arrive.

You're not throwing money down the tubes for paying your loan up until they take the car back. You're still using the car right? Then you have to pay for the car. The loan is separate. No matter what, you're going to be getting another loan on another car, right? If any car you get is stuck in the shop and not running, are you going to tell your bank that you think you shouldn't pay for it because it's not running? They'll laugh at you. My TDI is running despite the timing belt needing to be replaced and I'm using the car. That's why I'm paying for it.

If I decide to buy a new VW at my buyback appointment, how will the bill of sale treat the buyback TDI? Will it be written up as a "Trade-in" or similar so that sales tax will only be applied to the difference between the new car and the buyback amount? Another way to put it, do I have to pay *more sales tax when replacing my dirty diesel? I've asked the WA state Department of Revenue, local dealer, and my D.O.L. and nobody has any answers!

According to my dealer, you bring in the car and give to a VW rep. Rep writes the check if all is good. According to him he says there will be an option of electronic funds. He says the transaction is separate, and they have nothing to do with the buyback. He also said that the reason you are going to a dealer is the fact that the car will technically be property of VW not the dealer. As far as money is concerned he says that if you choose to use the money for a car than that is entirely separate, meaning your TDI has absolutely nothing to do with a new car transaction. Hope this helps

Summary, it will be as if your buying a new car....buyback is you making a completely separate transaction with the VW corporation

darcyW: You submitted your documents on Oct 25 and heard back on Nov 4?

our dealer is 3 hours away so hope setting appts is easier

How long is the Portal going to be down for brief maintenance? The "Brief" time period has long passed.

My TDI is my primary means of transportation. It needs a timing belt replacement and is past due for an oil change, and, most importantly, I get an ESP error each morning when I start it!!! And I have no idea when I'll be able to replace the car because of VW's 90 day period to schedule an appointment for the buyback. This is my 4th VW, but I am done with VW for life!!!

I read the buyback is basically SALE to VW of America and not the dealership. Your new vehicle will be purchased from a dealership and NOT VW of America. Therefore NOT a trade. Not sure what you're thinking, sticking with VW; their "clean diesel" and "truth in engineering" were both lies. What else are they lying about?

Hi everyone.. This is the issue with this whole vw buyback. VW was well aware that the judge was going to approve the settlement they presented. They new in July and September, so they should have had everything in place. Instead here we are waiting...again. I put in my claim on July 29 and uploaded my documents on Oct 24.. it says the following 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, within ten business days.

well tomorrow will be the 10 business day. And everyday that goes by.. I'm putting more mileage on my car and paying the payments. It should have been a seamless process and checks should have already been disperse! No more VW for me.. they lost a consumer.

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.

If your claim isn’t complete, VW will tell you what you need to do to complete it.

Then, 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. You will be able to choose from different options. 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.

Do you know why VW has been so remiss in communicating with people? We all had to sign up and then endure weeks of no response to the page. All it would take is a periodic global update to keep folks happy with the progress, especially if they are turning down copies of drivers licenses that come with an embedded hologram. That would be good information to know upfront as well as what to do about it.

Bridget, I filed a complaint to the place you mentioned up above, and made the selections you said to up above and mentioned VW and clean diesel last Thursday. Over the weekend I received an email back from the FTC with recommendations of what to do if you are swindled by car mechanics. WTH!!!! We don't want anymore rhetoric about what VW is 'supposed' to do, they obviously are not following their promise to handle these cases first come first serve. What we need on this site, and I'll say this again, is word from the FTC that they have or are bringing these issues to VW Settlement and will give us an answer whithin 24 to 48 hours. Yes, I will keep repeating this request every single day if need be.

Agreed. It is clear from the data being tracked by TDI groups that the claims are being dealt with in batches in the following order (1) cars that are paid-off, (2) cars financed through VW, (3) cars privately financed, and (4) lessees. The order within the batches otherwise pretty much looks random. I have seen no indication that any lessee has had their documents accepted yet. It makes financial sense for the order to be as above, with every additional payment by lessees being profit to VW. Seems like the FTC should be aware of this.

I have an eligible car that is paid off. I submitted my documents in early October. It is now 10 business days from November 1st but my documents are still under review.
I wish there was some clear way to understand the queue time.

VW reps are now claiming they have 10 business days + 10 additional business days for a third-party audit to review claim for completeness. This would be in contradiction to the FTC consent order.

Under the terms of the FTC Order, 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.

If you see something that doesn't agree with that, please tell the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. 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.

Uploaded my documents and waiting for an answer. went into Rick Case VW to find out about the program and trade in, was told they are not VW, pointed to empty offices and told VW reps would be the ones to handle the trade, etc. I wouldn't buy another VW if I had to it was the only car company in the world.

In looking, I registered on August 8, 2016, and still have heard nothing from VW. They knew when the approval was coming, why no contact from VW at all for all this time. The only information I am getting is from the dealers., and some of that is misinformation. They can't send any sort of update information.

Also, your sight says I should use the region where the car was registered in September 2015 for the region, I bought the car in California new in 2013 and it was registered there until I moved to New Mexico in February. All of my auto paperwork on the car is dated in February 2016 in New Mexico. I have a packet of documents I obtained from New Mexico MVD that includes a copy of my original California title showing that I bought the car new in California in 2013, but there is no way to upload additional information.

Also, VW originally stated in August that that they would take the car back on November 1, which hasn't happened, and the original payoff charts that were mailed in August indicated that there would be an extra payment for an automatic transmission, now it is almost $1000 less for manual transmission.

And I paid nearly $2000 for an extended warranty that is only half used that I am not going to be reimbursed for.

And I bought another car based upon VW assurances that this would be completed by Nov 1. I cannot drive my Passat TDI any more or it will go over 55,000 miles and lose $600 in buyback value. Yet I still have to insure it.. I'm very disappointed in VW and believe that their continued delays are criminal.

You may want to contact the company that issued your extended warranty to ask about a partial refund.

Bridget Small - FTC | November 4, 2016 | reply Under the FTC Order, a Court Appointed Claims Supervisor has certain power and authority to monitor VW compliance with the settlement process, and shall review several aspects of the claims administration process. This is obviously not happening. FTC, step in. Please.

You can file a complaint with the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. To report problems related to the VW settlement, select Other from the complaint categories on the first screen, and Automobile from the categories on the second screen. Be sure to include the words "VW" and "clean diesel" in your complaint. If you provide your email address, you will receive an automated email reply indicating we have received your complaint.

Complaints submitted to the FTC Complaint Assistant become part of the Consumer Sentinel Database, a secure database available solely to law enforcement. 

As I said up above, I did all that last week and got a ridiculous 'pre-written' email back with suggestions of how to deal with crooked car mechanics, yes I put in the words you suggested also.

Obviously the only purpose of this blog is for people to vent. I am assuming the FTC is just going to stay out of this and not contact VW Settlement at all.

Thank you for reporting the problem to the FTC.

As I explained when you commented yesterday, if you provide an email address, you receive an automated email reply indicating we received your complaint. I'm sorry you think the FTC's consumer information is ridiculous.

Because you included the words VW and clean diesel, the law enforcement personnel who review the Sentinel database will more easily find your complaint.

Go to vwcourtsettlement.com/en/. It lays out all the details. There will be no cash distribution until a. the emissions system is modified and you accept that as your option or until the buyback is complete. The buyback will take 90 plus days while the emissions process is not yet approved and may be months, if not years out.

HI Bridget, Based on this, am I on the first 10 days or the second 10 day period?

We have reviewed all of your documents. Currently, your application contains all 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 Settlement Claims Program and, if applicable, will provide you with a final offer, within ten business days.

This says your application contains all the necessary documents to determine your eligibility. It seems to be saying your application is complete. After your claim is complete, VW has 10 business days to review it and confirm that you’re eligible.

I got the same response and it has well exceeded the 10 business day mark. The dealership, claims line and customer service have absolutely NO information except it is taking longer than expected????

Why does it take another 10 days to determine eligibility? AFTER my documents are deemed to be complete!? Eligibility should be concurrent. So much for VW owners to have been properly represented in the Court Settlement. Shame on the lawyers. They are the only ones who will make out on this deal. and VW of course too.

This seems to boil down to what was good for the litigation team that assembled to handle the class. By not fighting for the removal of the mileage adjustments and allowing up to 90 days for a buyback they have failed to properly represent those of us who purchased the TDI because we drive ALOT. I have already passed the projected mileage for my anticipated return date (11/1, HA!) and will undoubtedly pass another during this "within 90 days" stipulation contained in agreement. This will cost me a minimum $420, because I can't very well let my only vehicle sit while this gets sorted out. If the majority of the owners pass just one mileage threshold during the waiting period it will save VW approximately $8 Million. Solid work fighting for the little guy here, while you scraped over $350 million off the top.

My estimate was closer to $15 million. Avg $350 per milestone threshold x 425,000 owners. I didn't look at it that closely. They definitely have an incentive to keep dragging this out.

I uploaded my documents back on 10/13 and finally they were *partially* approved yesterday (11/8). I had to reupload one of the documents because it was illegible. Do I have to wait another 10 business days for that to be approved?

@ 2013 Jetta, I uploaded mine on the 12th. I uploaded a picture of a 'consent' letter as was requested, not knowing it was a form they needed filling out. The site never bothered to flag this to my attention or let me know weeks later, I had to find out on my own, and when I did, after the girl on the phone told me what they needed, they COMPLETELY ERASED all of my other uploads!! I have to start all over again. I am IRATE, and the FTC doesn't seem to care. We can try to complain till we are blue in the face and will get nowhere, the FTC needs to step up to the plate and represent us, not just provide us this site so we can vent.

Why does VW have up to 90 days to buy back your car after your paper work is approved? VW has until Friday to make final approval of the buyback for me. I got an email on Oct 29 for approval of my documents.

I owned the car (no loan). Documents were submitted on Oct 7th. I no longer am driving the Jetta Sportwagen. I don't want to put the car at risk of an accident. Replacement car is a Toyota RAV4 hybrid.

Has anyone had their paper work approved and had VW offered to complete the deal in November?

Has anyone yet gotten the real "buyback" offer yet? I am still stuck with TWO TDI's and want to know if anyone has been able to move forward...

I would like to have this information as well. Today is the 10th day since I got an email (on Oct. 25) telling me my documents were complete and I would hear back from them within 10 business days, today! I have not heard anything from VWGoA yet. Do we know if they are sending out information by USPS or is it all electronic? Once again I am very disappointed in VWGoA and their lack of communication with us, the customer. I hope that as soon as someone receives information they post it so we can all watch our mail/email for notifications.

I am beginning to think that all information that we have received is intentionally ambiguous so that we won't know how to stick up for ourselves when this continues to drag out forever!!!!! Meanwhile, I am still stuck with TWO TDI's that I cannot get rid of and have already gone out and bought replacements. JUST SAYING!

I'm done with all my paperwork turning the car in on 12/1/2016

I submitted my documents on October 4th, 2016. My documents have been under review since. Today is the 10th business day since VW got approval that they have had to review my documents e. I called VW yesterday and they said it could take up to 4 weeks to hear back, this week is the 5th week since I have uploaded. What should I do if I don't hear back by the end of the day? and What is the penalty if they violate the 10 business day rule?

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.

After your claim is complete, VW is permitted to take 10 business days to confirm whether you are eligible.

If you see something happening that doesn't follow this, you can report it to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. 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.

VW hasn't accepted ANY of my documents and its going to be 11 business days tomorrow

Same here...I'm going on 14th day and nothing. It's complete BS and the FTC website is as well. Nothing is going to happen. The website is horrible, the dealerships are no better and they still want you to buy a VW lol...no way in hell!!! The communication is non-existent. If you can find the FTC page it sends a form letter which is a bunch of crap. No one is holding them accountable at all. We are all stuck with no recourse.

Obviously November 1 is the clock start for everyone. So if my math is right and assuming the Veterens Day Holiday then November 15 or 16 would be 10 business days. Hard to discern why some have been processed. I am under the impression is that 10 days is the rule to contact you with the "docs approved". I think this applies to all claims.

After the first 10 day stint you are supposed to get your offer all things good on your docs within another 10 days. So within 20 BUSINESS days you have a written offer in your hand but it still has to be notarized and returned. After that you are contacted to set the appointment.

So pessimistic viewpoint, minimum 21 business days to have your docs squared up and then who knows before you actually go and hand over the keys. Based on the calendar November 30 which takes into account Veterens Day, Thanksgiving and weekend.

My dealer just let me know that the VW rep cancelled their arrival to be determined as claims are not processed for their region yet. Here's to hoping the claims process goes faster. The above is hopefully worse case......

There are several steps to take before you can go for your appointment and buyback or lease termination. Here are some of the steps:

After you submit your claim, VW has 10 business days (starting on November 1, 2016)  to tell you whether your claim is complete.

If your claim is not 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 are eligible.

After VW confirms you are eligible, you need to get a final offer from VW and follow a procedure to sign and return that to VW.

Bridget,

The timeline you have been espousing doesn't agree with the text of the order.... Page 33 of the order (Document 2104) states "Processing all claims applications and, within 10 business days, or more quickly if reasonable, either (a) notifying consumers that their claim application is complete..." and "Notifying consumers whether they are eligible for their elected remedy within 10 business days, or more quickly if reasonable, of RECEIVING (emphasis mine) a completed application..." It doesn't state 10 business days after determining an application is complete, it states 10 days after receiving a complete application. So any complete application submitted prior to the 1st of November must be completed prior to the 15th to be in compliance. The fact that the FTC is not prepared to enforce what is very clear and plain language in their own order is disappointing at the least. Who does the FTC represent? The victims or VW?

Your reading of a portion of the Order is different from that of the attorneys' working on the case.

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

This June 28, 2016 press release has information about the multiple parties involved in the litigation. The Federal Trade Commission is an independent agency of the United States Government created by Statute. In this instance, VOLKSWAGEN GROUP OF AMERICA, INC., a corporation, also d/b/a VOLKSWAGEN OF AMERICA, INC., also d/b/a AUDI OF AMERICA, INC. is the defendant. Information about the class of owners and lessees, and class counsel, is available in the Long Form Notice you should have received from VW if you're a class member.

I fail to understand how attorneys (whom I assume are reasonably well compensated) cannot grasp the definition of "receipt". I would like an explanation as to why their interpretation differs from mine. I consider myself reasonably well educated, and believe I have a firm understanding of English. The definition of receipt doesn't strike me as being vague or obscure, and is this use seems to be fairly singular in interpretation. This begs the question: What is the motivation in allowing VW to take their jolly sweet time in addressing the issue? Ten business days from 1 November is 15 November, as stated in my first post. I did receive the long form notice, and it's language contradicts the order in this regard. I'm sure you can sense the frustration from the owners who have been commenting. This is a result of feeling as though we aren't being adequately represented, both by the FTC, and class council.

So what happens when VW does not get you the letter/email within that 10 business days? Because when you call them, they tell you they have no idea when the letter/email will arrive or if it's even been mailed. Who is overseeing their timelines? Our 10 business days came and went last week and they tell you to bad when you call. What's the recourse for this?

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