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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.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

Okay, November 1st my docs were already marked complete (Oct 22nd) so 10 business days from November 1st is TODAY!!!! November 15th. No portal email stating I am now eligible. No email stating that my documents need to be changed, fixed, re-uploaded etc.-NOTHING!!!!!!! Not one email or indication that anything has changed in the portal but the word sitting next to my documents that states COMPLETE. Nothing has changed at all in the portal for more than 10 days. Now what? I am on the last part of your "And, after your claim is made complete, VW is permitted to take 10 business days to confirm whether you’re eligible." So now what is the problem Bridget?

I am a lesee. I am being told for my normal lease return process that I am forced to pay a $350 inspection fee that will only be waived if I buy or lease a new VW vehicle. Was this covered in the settlement? After this I do not in any way shape or form feel like this fee is justified. Please advise.

Also- why do VW owners have to return vehicles in "driveable" condition but lesees have to abide by the lease agreement and return the car in pristine condition?

You can check the FTC Partial Stipulated Order, the Long Form Notice you got from VW for information or your lease for information about the inspection fee and return condition.

All of my documents except my driver's license were approved today. My question is what are the approved ID's that I can resubmit that aren't my driver's license? I ask this because my driver's license is faded because it's so old. What other ID's could I submit that will be acceptable?

If you are military, don't use your military ID. My brother used his for his original submission and was told that it was not a proper ID. So his supposed ten days starts all over again.

Well this sucks. I gota my documents approved yesterday, so now waiting on eligibility. I see people having to wait til end of december to schdule appointments. By the time i get approved my appointment will be march. Meanwhile still paying on the loan so they can pay as less as possible to vw credit at turn in. I have been so stressed and sick to my stomach over all of this. Im not getting anything back. I just want to turn the damm thing in.

Not to be a jerk, but I'm not sure I am understanding your statement. Each time you make a payment just increases the portion of the cash payment that goes to you instead of it being paid to VW Credit. The only difference is you lose out on the interest paid, but you should receive the difference in the principle amount. For example this month your total payout would be 21,000 and lets say you owe 5000 on your car. Now you get 16,000 and the bank gets 5000. So you had to make a payment of lets say 450 now your payment is 16425 and the bank gets 4450.

If you have been notified that any document is either "not complete", or wrong (in my case, they made an error and the document was in fact correct), then they put you back at the end of the line and you have to wait another 10 BUSINESS days. and then when everything is ready, title handed over and the appointment is complete, they want another 3 days to actually give us the money. Why? When i bought the car, VW didn't give me 3 days to pay. How ironic that they can purchase your trade in, take your money and let you drive away in that NEW car in a couple of hours.

You only have to wait the 3 days if your mileage has to be adjusted. If your actual mileage is close to the estimated mileage, you will get a check on the spot. If it has to be adjusted, then you have to wait 3 days...

mileage adjusted what does that mean? As in if they are deducting the mileage b/c your are over the $12,500 a year estimate?

Bridget, I, too, am getting very close to the 10 business days for receiving an offer from VW. Is it wise to file a complaint with the FTC, or will that hold up the process even longer? I had a vehicle in mind and hoped to have it purchased by the end of the year with the deals they are currently offering. Please help. I am getting really frustrated and feel like there is no one to help us get answers. I hope you'll reply to this. My docs were submitted 9/19; they were approved 10/18. I realize VW has 10 business days to email the offer, but why are they taking their good old time? There is no order to this whole thing. I feel like they are holding us hostage with these vehicles that we can't trade in since the value will be down; I currently have a loan. THAT should not matter. Nothing was stated in the Long Form that you would be pushed to the end of the line if you owed money on the car. However, I see that other people with loans who turned in their forms a month after me are receiving offers. Are they doing it by State or what? PLEASE HELP! Thank you!!!

Well today is day 11 of waiting for my offer email. I received my eligability email on Nov. 1st.

Recording says that it could take 4 weeks until you get your final offer. You then have to notarize the supplied documents and submit them to be able to schedule a drop off date.

I called them (VW) this morning and was told that VW gets 10 days to review your documents, 3rd party adjuster gets 10 days to review, and then it's 10 days after that until you get your packet. Nothing about Nov 1st being the clock start. When I asked them where I was (submitted 9/21, accepted 11/1), they "escalated" my case to someone who could actually look at my claim. I've submitted my complaint to the FTC.

Make sure your Notary uses an inked seal. Some use an embossing seal. This seal will not work on downloads or Fax. It doesn't show up and VW will say your Final Offer is incomplete.

To: TDI Wait, thank you for that information. I still have not gotten anything from VW, but will become livid with them if not received by tonight! I have TWO offending TDI's and not wanting any more delays on their part!

I called VW today and got something completely different than what's here. I was told that VW had 10 days to review, then the 3rd party had 10 days to review, THEN we wait 10 days for the offer. I simply asked where I was in the process if I submitted documents on 9/21 and they were shown as approved on Nov 1st (all were accepted the first time). Apparently those people can't look at your claim at all so I've been "escalated" and I'm waiting on a callback that I should receive by Friday at the latest (not holding my breath). Even if they just allowed you to talk to someone who could look at your claim that would be GREAT.

Owner of 2011 A3 tdi. Paperwork submitted for buyback prior to Nov 1st 2016 and it has been on step 15 under review since that time. My vehicle is paid for so no loan delay. Logged on to VW portal today. Documents should have been marked complete as of Nov 15th Nope still under review. So depressing total nightmare. Anything I can do or am I being victimized by VW once again?

Once again, I am left in the dark by VW.

I submitted my paperwork on 9/19/2016 and was told my paperwork had been approved on 10/14/2016 and that I would be contacted within 10 business days.

I have over 30 business days and contacted VW this morning. After waiting on hold for an hour I was met by just a gem of a Customer Service rep who told me that my claim is incomplete as I hadn't signed my "Financial Consent Form".

I signed into the portal and downloaded the form that was accepted and both mine and my wife's signatures appear on the form.

I called back, and waited another hour on hold to be told that the system is now down and they cant tell me what document needs attention.

I was told they will "escalate" my claim and a supervisor will contact me within 24-72 hours.

Here we are in month 14 of this and still I cannot get an answer from anyone.

I have called Volkswagen prior and they have said on the car is safe there is nothing to worry about if you drive it. How can we be told its safe if it is putting off 40x the legal emissions?

I was only worrying about the health of my children and they basically told me, meh don't worry about it.

I went out and bought a new car when they told me that I shouldn't worry about it. Don't worry about the health of my passengers... sorry not going to happen.

I am still waiting for an answer regarding the buyback, this is ridiculous if I had said oh yeah ill put money down, but you will get it when I feel like it, I would've never been able to buy the car.

I have stopped making payments only to have VW credit hound me, when I say they can refund what I've paid so far and come get the car they threaten to take me to court, which I realize is well within their rights to do.

I have no problem making the payments, however it is the principle of the whole thing. I bought something that I can no longer use under a false pretense.

This buy back should have happened immediately. VW knew they wouldn't be able to meet the emissions or they wouldn't have created the cheat in the first place.

So now we are all duped and waiting for VW to gain additional interest off the 14 billion they have put in an account.

The phone number that we are told to call for an update is now stating this "our system is now down, please provide me with your name, address and make and model of your car and VIN number and we will have a supervisor call you back with an update on your claim". Unreal. I now stand over the 10 day mark after my documents were marked complete and after I received email stating my documents were complete. This is a major major FTC violation that they are doing nothing about!!!!

So if my documents are marked complete, and i havent gotten an offer yet. Then why are they still being audited by the 3rd party auditor. That would make them incomplete if the proper people havent seen them yet. This whole process is a joke.

Filed complaint today via FTC site. I selected other category, then Automobile, pretty much skipped all the stuff up to Company name. I entered VW, I then put my narrative down using the words Diesel, and Volkswagen..
My docs still not updated, on business day 11 nothing. Mileage getting higher, accident risk remains. VW will claim they are exercising due diligence but can not keep up. No reprisal as they will show they are trying. FTC step up and update the reasons why.

HERE IS WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THAT NO ONE AT VW OR FTC HAS BEEN PROFICIENT AT EXPLAINING

**VW has 20 business days**
>Forget the 10 for confirming and the 10 for sending you an offer. They will not contact you in between those 10 day periods.
>Just see it as 20 business days from November 1st. So, excluding Veteran's day, Thanksgiving, and Black Friday, that's December 2nd that we should ALL hear back.

Tips:
1. Check your email
2. Check your portal (which will lead you to the next phase)

Everyone should plan to make a few more payments for loans and insurance. I suspect we won't be able to sell back our cars until January.

I downloaded my docs to them on November 1. It is now over 10 days and the documents are still "under review". I just sent my payment to WF for November. How many more payments do I have to make on a car I am no longer; I bought a Jeep Compass in September so that I would not be without transportation. Is it just that there are not enough workers? In which case, I say, hire more. If I do not hear from VW by this Friday I will be contacting my State's AG. This is ridiculous.

If you just uploaded docs on Nov 1st the VW claims center is telling everyone it'll take 20 business days to receive the "documents are accepted, confirming your eligibility" email. 10 business days for VW to review, 10 days for the 3rd party auditor to review. Then after that it's another 10 days until you get your offer. So 6 weeks total (according to the human robot).

Granted, I'm on week 8 with no offer, so who knows.

This is all very simple: VW does not have enough staff to process claims in the timetable that has been given to us. We don't need any reminders about the 10 day timeline to approve, etc etc etc etc. We need the FTC to do their job and sue VW for not providing enough staff to roll out claims in a timely manner. So many of us have already filed complaints, what we need from you Bridget is some sort of imformation from a superior who can tell us what is being done to make this go faster. We don't even need to hear what is being done, we just need it handled. This is criminal action from VW yet again. If they can't process these claims fast enough, they must be required to hire more staff - YESTERDAY.

I called the claims line last night and today. I both days I had to call multiple times due to either being hung up on or transferred to a busy or 'no mailbox' line. Both last night and today I've been told that that the claims department is down and there is no-one that I can not talk to them. The only thing the phone agent told me today that she could do was to escalate my case to a supervisor and have them call me back within 3 days. I'm in the same boat as most everyone here, documents marked complete on 10/25, therefore using the date of 11/1 VW is now past due on further communications including my buyback offer. I am now filing a complaint with the FTC and lead attorneys everyday until I get and answer including a buyback offer and I made sure that the agents answering the phone understood that. I highly suggest everyone here do the same, unfortunately this seems to be our only recourse for some sort of action. The ranting on here will get us nowhere, we need to flood the system with complaints.

I submitted my document in September and they were approved on October 24, prior to the signing of the settlement. I am assuming I am waiting for someone to review my documents to determine if I am eligible, because I have not received a final offer yet. My confusion comes in when they determine my 10 days starts for determination of my eligibility. I spoke with one person on Nov 1 and she said 10/31 was the date I was approved and they were determining my eligibility. After 10 Days have past they are now saying it was approved on 11/11 and I have to wait 10 days from that date. The last email I received was on 10/24 accepting the documents that I submitted. I am absolutely confused as to when the 10 days starts. Any thoughts FTC?

It's in vw best interest to delay. More interest on vw loans, more cars becoming inoperable, etc. Without a public outcry nothing is going to get done. The FTC is not going to do anything more at this point. Notice how quiet Ms. Small has been today when she can no longer claim the 10 day waiting period.

The FTC is actively monitoring Volkswagen’s compliance with the Order's requirements, and taking appropriate action if Volkswagen fails to meet its obligations.  The FTC is also carefully monitoring consumer complaints submitted to FTC.gov/complaint.

You can help the FTC by reporting problems 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. Consumer complaints provide law enforcement agencies with valuable information about marketplace changes and trends.

That sounds great Bridget. What time frame did the FTC give them to step it up and what are their consequences for not meeting deadlines?

I just got off of the phone with the claims department, they were able to clarify and I guess reinforce what Bridget is saying here. So the two 10 business day periods, counting from 11/1, which is the start day of that counter, puts any expected reply as far as 12/1, if you already had your documents in and the validity of the documents already checked. Seems redundant, and they could have explained this a lot better and published that expectation, at least now I know that I'm not missing some reply yet... but more waiting.

Okay seriously now we are supposed to be satisfied with dec1st? Today was the absolute deadline to hear from vw. Just because now they cannot or will not honor the mandated timeframe does not change the fact that they are not complying with the court order. Come dec 1st you can be sure they will have another reason why our buyback dates are now next summer or later.

Bridget you are not listening to the question. What needs to be done legally if VW fails to adhere to the 10 day timeline? Would that not be a breech of contract. Yes I've filed a complaint, my question is what are you(FTC) going to do to resolve our issues?

The FTC is actively monitoring Volkswagen’s compliance with the Settlement Order, and taking appropriate action if Volkswagen fails to meet its obligations.  The FTC is also carefully monitoring consumer complaints submitted to FTC.gov/complaint. Thank you for submitting a complaint.

Since the owners don't seem to get much atention from Volkswagen, I will make my suggestion here. Volkswagen really needs to be more transparent with the public. We live in an day where we can track everything. If VW would simply keep the public informed about the number of claims and how many are in each state of the process. I think that would eliminate a lot of calls and postings. I know this would be very difficult with everything on a computer system. :)

FTC (Ms Small).... If I receive an email saying my identification was not clear enough, then with 1-2hrs re-scan and upload (vs fax) lets say. Does VW then have another 10days to process the correction? Meaning that any "issue" seen of a minor size could make this an endless process.

I actually called yesterday and spoke with a really nice guy and asked this exact question. He assured me that it did not restart you back to the back of the line if your other documents are approved. I'm not sure if its true or not- but that's what I was told.

i seem to be in the same boat as a few owers have mention above. docs submitted 9/28, approved on 10/30. received email stating that i would receive a final offer within 10 business days. start the clock beginning nov 1. today is nov 17, 12 business days have passed, and have not received an update.

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.
Business day 14. no response.

business 15 day....and no communication from vw.

vw took out the 10 business clause it now reads: 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. sneaky.

Not sure if my comments were even posted from yesterday, but submitted docs w/ emailed receipt from VW on 10/12, 10/28 received email from VW had all appropriate docs, on 10/31 called VW and said...now what? On hold for over 2 hours. Then a customer service rep came on and said she couldn't answer my questions because she was over flow and if I wanted a specific question (about my claim not vw in general) I would have to go back in the que. Back in the que I went and waited longer where a supervisor came on the phone to tell me I should be receiving an email "any day." 11/15 I called and was told about the sudden 11/1 start date that even on 10/31 wasn't mentioned. This rep was rude and I ended up hanging up on him, but before I did he did say 11/15 was day 10 so I should receive something by the next Friday if not sooner. Then I asked to speak to a supervisor and he said the phones were down he couldn' transfer me. I hung up and called back and spoke with a really nice rep who did confirm 11/1 and that 11/15 was day 10- phones were down so she couldn't transfer my call, but would take my name and number and have it escalated. 11/16 I called spoke with a really nice customer service who said- phones were down so could take my name and number and escalate- 11/1 was start date, 11/16 was day 10 because VW didn't work election day (odd) and veterans day and If I didn't receive something by next Monday I should call back. I said well that is well out side the 10 day window even considering election and veterans day. One hour later I received my "letter" that needs to be notorized.

What is our recourse if they now have gone over the 10 business days? Submitted my documents early October, been in review ever since.

You can file a complaint with the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. Once there, 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 become part of the Consumer Sentinel Database, a secure database available solely to law enforcement.

All of the complaining on here about the dates and delays, are you actually offended by VW deceiving you, or are you anxious to benefit financially from VW?

I could care less about the deception, the issue is risk. I risk getting into a car accident having the vehicle totalled and no longer eligible to participate in the settlement. If eligible totalled vehicles was included in this without losing any money I can guarantee you that the number of complaints would be diminished. If my vehicle is totalled I would get approx 11k compare that to the 21k....

I just got off of the phone with a VW rep on the TDI Settlement Help desk. After calling two days ago and the rep told me that I would get the offer by midnight on the 16th of November, now I have the dates of Nov. 21st for one of my TDI's and Nov. 23rd for the other.

I think it helped that I told her that I was taking notes from the conversation as I knew that the phone call was recorded. I still doubt I will get my offers as promised from the new dates, but trust me... I will file a cliam with the FTC, if the latest set of dates are violated.

Update: 11/18 got an offer on the car they told me I would receive on Nov. 23rd today. No offer on car they told me I would get by Nov. 21st! This is whacko!! This finally answers the question I have been asking over and over and never got the answer. We will only get the money from the one column, not both for the buyback. Not happy, but better that being stuck with 4 cars and 2 drivers! Hope the upload/rest of the process is not as frustrating as all else has been!

I am frustrated too. My husband phoned our dealership yesterday and was told they were told appointments would start to be made there, next week. We are still waiting like the rest of you. Our Jetta is sitting in the driveway and only used for short trips. We bought a replacement car the end of September. IF ANY OF YOU ARE HAVING ISSUES WITH YOUR RADIO take note.... Our radio stopped working and would not power up last week. Last night I drove the car to my daughter's house and left it running to charge the battery for a few minutes. When I returned home, I sat in the driveway and got the radio to come on but no volume. I turned the radio off and held the ON BUTTON for about a minute. The radio reset and now works fine. I found information from a guy in Australia (posted he had the same experience). Don't return to your dealer and pay them to diagnose until you try this. It really worked.

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