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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

Comments

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

If you experience something that doesn't follow that, 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.

Which option do I pick after "automobile"? because I'm not finding vw an clean diesel anywhere it makes you pick like 3 other options after "automobile"

The FTC.gov/complaint website will ask you a series of questions about how you were contacted and what happened. You will be able to choose different categories to say what the problem is, and to tell the story in your own words. Include the words "VW" and "clean diesel" when you tell the story in your own words.

Bridget Small: It seems that you may be missing a step here: After VW has determined a claim is eligible, VW sends a Final Offer Letter with a Release of Claims that must be signed and notarized. Once complete, It can be uploaded on the claims website. But that document has to be reviewed by VW, as well. Only after they review and approve that document, can an appointment for buy back be scheduled. Please update your responses with the correct information.

My documents were just accepted. Now to wait to see if Im eligible (which I am). Has anyone gotten as far as to schedule an appointment yet? or gotten the paperwork to sign and notarize yet?

NOPE, all of my documents were approved as of Oct 24th, and still have not heard anything on a offer. I am tired of calling and getting a different answer everytime why I haven't receive the offer yet.

I see some people who say they have moved passed the "Documents received and under review" point that uploaded them after me. I did so the moment it came in on 10/11. What is the order of Processing these claims? is it cars paid, off, loans, then leases? Or is it in Claim# order (as it should be)?

I know of only 2 people who have received the email and the offer, and that was through a forum on Facebook. One of those two people had the title to his car; I currently have a loan, so I could be waiting a while until I receive something. When I called the customer service number, both reps told me they have no idea how the claims are being processed. Wouldn't it be nice if someone had an answer to that question? This is really getting frustrating. I sent my docs on 9/19, was "told" on the portal that my documents were reviewed on 10/26, and that they had 10 business days to notify me. We are well past those 10 days.

It would be nice if we knew an order. I added my info on 10/27. I still have a loan also. So no rhyme or reason to this.

My documents read COMPLETE and have been for over 10 days now. I received an auto generated email 10/22/2016 stating that they are "determining eligibility". Called the VW phone number and they stated a "Third Party Auditor" and "last phase of the process" is checking eligibility and still no word or change in the portal of my "completed documents". I don't think they are following any guidelines at all stated by Bridget Small, FTC. It is very clear. I think we are all on our own. Meanwhile I have to drive my car, I need to get to work, the miles are mounting near the 50K mark. This is a really terrible situation. I risk an accident or the awful "air bag" deployment that they have yet to fix. Oh and the "recall on the sensor" that I just received....all they did was extend my warranty. What the heck was that for? On a car they are buying back? I am at a loss for words right now. No more VW for me. I have been looking around for other cars but can't make a move yet--stuck until this "buyback scam" completes. Very disappointed VW!!!

The buyback process was progressing well. My paperwork was received and determined to be complete before the final court approval. On Friday (Nov 4) I received my final offer, which was 9 business days after approval. For all these steps, there were confirmation emails and next steps with time frames. Within an hour of receiving offer, my offer was signed, notarized, scanned and uploaded to my vw settlement account. I received no confirmation email. The process outline and subsequent explanations on this blog infer an immediate next step to making an appointment. I called the settlement hotline to ask about the lack of confirmation email for my signed offer. My online settlement account says it is received and under review but there is no date received and no timeliness or explanation of next step. The vw rep said that they had 4 weeks to review/accept signed offer. Her supervisor said their only requirement was to provide 3 appointment times within 90 days of accepting offer. When I uploaded the signed offer, I was given the option of check or EFT at settlement. The note provided on that page said claimants would get expedited appts with EFT. I wanted to provide an FYI to other claimants but I would also appreciate official response to lack of confirmation for receipt of signed offer and lack of transparency for timeline for these important last steps. (Buyback and no loan)

Thank you for that. Wonder why it would take 90 days. You would think that they would want to get the ball rolling and get all of this done as fast as possible.

Did you get your final offer by email or mail!

Velochick1964: First of all, thanks for posting your info; it was very informative. I, like many others I'm sure, am baffled with why they would they need 4 weeks to review/accept your signature on their offer? There is something majorly wrong with that...

I have received my buyback offer, had it signed and notarized and uploaded it to the claims website. Does anyone know how long it will take to have that document approved and have the ability to schedule an appointment?

Appt email arrived today. The soonest slot at my local dealer was Dec 1. You can search through other dealers to try and find earlier appt time. The soonest within 200 miles was Nov 25. Also, settlement slots were only available 1 day a week at each dealer.

Do you own or have a loan on your car, may I ask? It appears they are processing people who own their cars first.

How can we reach out to the Plaintiff's attorneys, to complain about this process? it appears that the FTC is just going to take our complaints under advisement. Under this process, does the FTC have a timeline for reacting to the complaints? Maybe we can start complaining to the Federal Court Judge too? any thoughts from others? I too cannot wait 90 days for the buyback appt.

You should have recieved documents from VW that identify lawyers for the class action. You can find court documents, forms & notices on vwcourtsettlement.com.

Bridget, sorry to say this, but this is a travesty of justice. Is there anything that the FTC can or will do to help us consumers????

You have the option to report problems and concerns to the FTC through FTC.gov/complaint, to the lawyers representing the class and to VW. The class action attorneys' contact information is in the Long Form Notice VW sent.

This FTC page has summary information and multiple links to additional information about the case, and vwcourtsettlement.com has many videos, answers to frequently asked questions, and links to court documents.

MarkB: If you don't mind me asking, was your VW paid off ? We are trying to see if there is some type of 'order' to how VW is processing the claims.

Car is paid for. I received buyback offer on 11/4 and sent back offer by 3:00 EST. Just waiting on approval so that I can set my appointment. I have not read anywhere what the time frame is for this step.

OK... just waited another 90 minutes. Finally get sthe "claims department". They have absolutely no idea about timelines, critical dates... nothing. Mirroring what the message on hold said, the rep reiterated that they have 4 weeks to send the offer letter after docs are confirmed as complete and approved. I will be contacting a private attorney and exploring what parties can be named in a case for non-compliance. This is ridiculous.

That's funny the phone rep would tell you 30 days since even when you log in to the website it says they will provide an offer in 10 days. My 10 days expires tomorrow, can't wait to see what happens.

To all those reading these comments, please be sure to also fill out the complaints on the FTC website and contact the lead attorney as well. Don't forget twitter and other social media as well.

I'm a week past the 10 days; I called last Friday and was told by two reps that VW NOW has 4 weeks to let you know IF you qualify.

This whole thing is crazy. I was told Nov 1st was my tentative buyback date so I went ahead and ordered my new car and timed it so it would arrive right around the same time. My claim was submitted oct 13th and I have heard NOTHING. And my car is here waiting for me at the dealer.

There are a lot of these cars. It's going to take awhile to get all of them sorted. I went for the planned non-operation status for my car when the registration and smog were due on October 22. I wasn't about to shell out 175 dollars plus the smog inspection fee (love the irony there). I uploaded the Non-op form the DMV sent me to the site. They didn't accept it. I'm waiting again for the 10 business days for them to approve my paperwork. I called and got right through on November 2. I couldn't find the most current registration tag and I wasn't about to go to the local DMV (nightmare house) to get a new one, so I used my October 22, 2014 to October 22 2015 tag. The rep said that should work. As long as the car was registered in your name after September 15(?) 2015 at some point you are golden. The car doesn't need to be currently registered to be eligible. In California, you can get a temporary moving permit for a day. So the car sits in the driveway, unused, because I'm sure some fool will hit it if I drive it or it will break down again. It's been a terrible car. I'm riding the motorcycle now. I think we are going to get a Toyota or Honda next time. No more VW.

I'm pretty sure that FTC is censoring these comments. I posted 3x's yesterday. One was up, them disappeared, one never posted, third is now the only one up.

After reading some of the comments above, I have made a miraculous decision... 1985 Volkswagen Cabriolet 1987 Jetta GLI 1990 Jetta Diesel 1991 Jetta Ecodiesel 1998 Beetle Diesel 1999 Jetta TDI 2002 Jetta TDI (Two at one time) 2007 Beetle Convertible 2011 Jetta TDI 2012 Passat SEL TDI 2013 Passat SEL TDI - Can't wait to get rid of! 2013 Beetle Convertible TDI - Can't wait to get rid of! Future Plans - Already bought 2013 Mercedes ML 350 Already bought 2016 Accord Touring V6 Volkswagens - I DON'T THINK SO!!!!!! Stick a fork in me... I am done!!!!!!

My documents have been submitted since mid October for both cars, one has had nothing done to it at all, the other was reviewed and rejected because the lien release was not included in the documents (there is no portal to send it, so you have to use the front title page) they have had new documents for weeks no action, there does not seem to be any pattern or reason for the process, many have been processed with no issues and some seem to be stuck in the que. This is a mess.

This is way too frustrating. I am a week past the "within 10 days" indicated on the portal and haven't heard a peep via email. I have been on a Facebook forum, and there are now 4 people who received the email and have scheduled their appointments with the dealer. I asked each of them if they owned their cars or had a loan. All owned the cars. Apparently, VW is taking those people first REGARDLESS of when you get your documents to them. This is crazy. Why are they telling me within 10 days? Thank God I didn't go ahead and order a car. I feel like VW is playing mind games with these 10-day wait periods. The customer service reps know very little; however, they are friendly. Why doesn't VW just come out and say, if you OWN your car and have the title to it, you will be given priority over those with a loan? Bridget ... any help on this?

Would you please list the name of that Facebook page, I would like to join it. Thanks

As stated in our blog Comment Policy, we may edit comments to remove links to commercial websites.

I certainly won't post any link to a site; however, would you know any information to my question? Thank you.

I own my 2012 Jetta TDI, I have since I bought the car and my documents have not been reviewed yet and I uploaded them on October 4th, 2016. The last email I received was a confirmation that I submitted my documents. I don't think that's how the process goes.

Bridget: You have replied to many people about the timeline, but I do not see any statement from you about a 4 week wait that people are talking about now. Where did this come from?

The "four week wait" timeframe was introduced by commenters.

Bridget, I disagree. The "four week" wait time is mentioned in between sections of music while waiting on hold on the VW Claims line, then it was confirmed by the rep. We may have "introduced" it to you, but the FTC should investigate it. It's clearly a violation of the court order. It has been reported by multiple visitior to this blog.

VW’s automated phone system currently says the claim filing process can take up to four weeks. That is another way of saying the same thing this blog post says:

  • 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.

Twenty business days take place over four calendar weeks.

Bridget Small - it's now been 14 business days since Nov. 1st. Like many others, my documents are still under review. What action can be taken?

But isn't this the purpose of the FTC Consent order, and shouldn't the FTC be investigating this 4 week claim? It has been verified by the majority who have called the VW reps. It seems like you, Bridget, should be able to bring this to the attention of your supervisors and have it start going up the chain.

VW’s automated phone system currently says the claim filing process can take up to four weeks. That is another way of saying the same thing this blog post says:

  • 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.

Twenty business days take place over four calendar weeks.

But they are saying they have 4 calendar weeks to tell you if your claim is complete. And then another 4 calendar weeks to review and determine eligibility. That's 8 calendar weeks total. That is the issue that FTC should be reviewing.

You can report this to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. Choose the complaint category "Other" on the first screen and "Automobile" on the second screen. Include the words "VW" and "clean diesel" in your report when you have the option to explain what happened in your own words. Information is entered into a secure database that is accessible to law enforcement. Comments on the blog are not part of the law enforcement database.

Why aren't you reporting it (you know better than I do who as actual authority to do something about it at the FTC)? I've already reported to the Claims Supervisor and the plaintiff attorney representatives. When VW blows the November 15 deadline to inform everyone, will you report it then??

Bridget, I submitted my claim on 9/22 and my docs have been under "review" since then. Received this on 9/22.... "Thank you for submitting your documents in the Online Claims Portal. Next, we will begin reviewing your documents to ensure that you have provided all of the necessary documents and information to determine your eligibility. We will contact you when the documents are reviewed." .... since then nothing.... Based on your previous posts... VW's 10 day clock started and is now over... now what recourse do I have?

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.

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.

VW has taken more than 10 days to review my documents and when I called them they said they cannot meet this deadline. I submitted my documents November 3rd and today is the 19th. I called them and they said they have no estimated time when they will fix this. I feel totally taken advantage of by this and I can't understand how they can't meet this deadline if they are legally obligated. Then again, this whole thing started because they had no regard for the law..

I was told by two different customer service reps when I called last Friday, 11/4/16, around 5:00 p.m., that it would be up to 4 weeks from 11/1/16 until I receive the email from them. I mentioned that my account indicates that they would get back to me with an offer within ten business days; that time frame has already come and gone. The one rep said he has no idea where I got that idea. I was rather stunned when these reps told me that. Also, it appears they are processing claims first for OWNERS; I have a loan and haven't received a word about my offer. I'm not thrilled at all with this poor communication and system VW has set up so far. It shouldn't matter if you have a loan, lease, or own the car; they should be processing these claims in the ORDER they are received. I'm thoroughly disgusted at this point. It's just a waiting game, and there's not much I can do.

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