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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

I called last night, finally got a rep, and she asked what step I was in online. I told her through step 15. I mentioned exactly what my claim indicates on the Online Portal (..."within 10 business days you will receive an email offer." She asked when I was notified of this. I told her 10/18, and her reply was, "Well, you're way past that 10-day time frame." She said she would escalate my claim and have a supervisor call me back within 3 business days. What was odd was she told me she was jotting down all my information, i.e., name, address, VIN, make/model, etc., as if their computers were down. She was very nice, but again, I was told something different than when I called two weeks ago and from what Ms. Small is saying on here. I am carrying my cell phone with me everywhere in case I actually do receive a call; I don't want to miss it. I also filed a complaint with the FTC this morning. Perhaps that's what's needed now. VW clearly isn't in compliance with the Order's requirements, yet all we consumers and loyal customers are to sit and wait? I'm afraid to drive my car for fear of an accident or a deer smacking into it, plus I'll be over the estimated mileage I entered way back in July. It's really sad that VW wasn't better prepared for the onslaught of claims. All they're doing is turning their customers away from any of their line of cars; at least that's what they're doing to me. It's tough to read that people who submitted documents over a month after me, as well as other customers, have already scheduled appointments. VW: You really messed up this whole buyback program. You should've thought to say you'd email offers to OWNERS of your cars, then lessees or customers with loans. Had I known any of this, I would've estimated a totally different mileage range and wouldn't have rushed to get my documents in thinking they'd process them in the order received, not by if you own the car. I'm disgusted.

I just filed my complaint since the November 16th deadline was not met! Hope this helps!

Just an update for anyone trying to get info, if your registration has expired since uploading your documents you will be required to register the vehicle for the next year and upload the new current registration. So if you live in California that means getting it smogged. My assumption is this applies to all documents so just be aware. My documents were accepted a month ago had all green checkmarks until I called and they told me this.

Once again zero communication by VW now out more time money and energy over this stupid situation.

My registration was expired when my documents were uploaded and accepted according to the email and portal. I understood that the registration did not have to be in date at the time the car was turned in. Has anyone else had this issue come up? I fear calling the help line will not shed any light on this issue or result in misinformation, judging by the comments here and on Facebook.

Same deal here, only difference is mine is still NOT expired but yet the portal says it is LOLOLOL what a joke of a "review" team they have of documents. Can't move forward because they are waiting for a new registration (which I provided anyways)

Not true. I uploaded my expired 2015. See FAQ on VW site. It states vehicle doesn't have to be currently registered to qualify.

In CA, you can register non-op and get get a moving permit when you turn in your car.

I just got off the phone with the Representative at VW and this is what I was told. Just passing on why they said my claim is incomplete even though on the portal it claims that my claim is complete and they would notify me in 10 days business days. Just trying to get some info out there so everyone can be on the same page, if others have had a different experience please let me know. I know what is said in the FAQ's and I know about the non-op in Cali. I'm just passing on what wass told to me by the reps of why my claim isn't processed and why they are telling me it is not complete.

I understand what you're saying but I believe the approval or disapproval has something to do with the competence of the individual reviewing the documents.
I have had to have too many conversations regarding how it is 2016 and when my registration is valid until Oct 23, 2016 it mean that on whatever the September 2016 date they choose is, my registration was valid Before, on and past that date.

FTC, pass this on to VW since you are monitoring them and in contact with them. Tell them I was seriously thinking about buying another VW because they handled the gift program so well last December, however, if I don't get a call back on my escalation I put in 4 days ago, that's it, I will never buy a vw again, ever. And furthermore, since the only requirement is for them to be operable when turning them in, I'm contemplating spray painting VW Settlement: Not Transparent, Not working. I think we all should.

100% spot-on with VW loyalty. Had seriously been looking to replace our 2012 A3 (wagon) with a Tiguan, still small in size since the A3 Wagon is no longer....Since this mess my focus is now ALSO towards the BMW X1 (another small SUVish thing). Summary here VW will loose customers as mentioned a few times, directly because of this. I'm OK with a mistake that can be fixed but, seriously taking just way to long for this to take place.

The real depressing thing about this whole situation is that we are losing out on all of the good end of the year deals that are being offered, from low financing to cash back. I would love to be able to take advantage of these specials, but until VWGoA starts moving these claims along, it looks like 2017 before I will be able to purchase my replacement vehicle.

Same here ... I have another vehicle in mind, and as I talk to other dealerships here in PA (not VW), they tell me the same thing. VW diesel owners are coming in like crazy looking at cars, but they can't buy anything (if they have a loan) until VW adheres to the Order and hands people their money. There are so many great end-of-year deals that I was hoping to take advantage of, but thanks to VW, looks like it won't happen. I will NEVER buy another VW. They ruined their brand with this mess. What poor management of this buyback program on VW's part.

Its been way past the 10 business days VW said I would receive my final offer within. This is total crap! I bought my replacement vehicle based on the NOV 1 date we were all initially given only to find out that VW stated they were just kidding about that date. Now I have an additional car and insurance payment until VW gets their act together. I SINCERELY hope the FTC levies additional fines in light of this nonsense with VW. There are way too many angry US Citizens to NOT do something about this.

I find it interesting that when my Final Offer was filed twice being incomplete, that VW got back with an incomplete email within 24 hours of the filing. The 3rd filing should be correct now that I had an inked Notary on the Final Offer. This is the 4th day after the filing. A friend of mine got his back within 24 after filing. The bad news is that he has to go to a dealership 60 miles away from his home. There is a VW dealer in his city.

I was also told that a supervisor would be calling me within 3 days. That was 5 days ago. Has anyone had a supervisor call them back?

Just called the claims number and after pressing 1, then 1, then 1, then 1, I get a recording that indicates that claims are taking longer than expected to process and that their agents do not have any additional information. Please press 1 to return to the main menu. Not helpful at all and obviously not in keeping with the final judgment.

From all the negative comments aimed at VWGoA coupled with too many frustrated TDI owners, it's in our best interest to file complaints with the FTC. It seems they're our only voice for now. I'm not hiring an attorney with money I don't have because VW isn't complying with the order. THEY KNEW THIS WAS COMING; WHY DID THEY CHOOSE TO MANAGE IT SO POORLY? People, please think about filing a complaint with the FTC!

I just called again this morning for an update following the call I made earlier this week. Today I was told the system is down and we are unable to see any information. If you leave the information we will get back to you as soon as week can, but with the high volume of calls that we have received within the last couple of days I would allow 48-72 hours. For the record yet again, I received my docs approved/offer pending email (Step 15) on October 20th. I have already filed a complaint via the FTC Portal. This is absolutely ridiculous, they aren't coming anywhere close to meeting the terms laid out within the agreement and the FTC is doing nothing. Seems like a good way to save millions of dollars on their part by pushing it out and having more vehicles become inoperable and other going over mileage thresholds.. Solid work by the legal team who took 300 million off the top and ftc for not enforcing the terms of the agreement, while those of us who are actually affected are left without a voice.

As of this morning I was told their portal was down and has been down since Monday, with no information at all. They can't look anything up, they haven't told operators of a projected goal to have the system up and running again, nothing, no accountability, no anything. I've had an escalation in since last Sunday. I'm fed up.

Bridget - I know you said the FTC is involved. What information, and I mean meaty detailed information do you have???? And please don't say "We are in contact with them" we know that much already.

Plus, I heard from a salesman I deal with at my vw dealership that they have had someone there all week setting up to take appointments for buybacks next week. What?!?! With who??? I've had my application online since the first day they had it up and running last summer. Is anyone here on this post in the Charlotte NC area? Look VW, we DID NOT ASK FOR THIS!! AND YOU DON'T GIVE A CRAP ABOUT US, PERIOD.

From all the negative comments aimed at VWGoA coupled with too many frustrated TDI owners, it's in our best interest to file complaints with the FTC. It seems they're our only voice for now. I'm not hiring an attorney with money I don't have because VW isn't complying with the order. THEY KNEW THIS WAS COMING; WHY DID THEY CHOOSE TO MANAGE IT SO POORLY? People, please think about filing a complaint with the FTC!!!

After multiple calls and emails to VW's "special military support team"-- who can't be bothered to respond-- it is clear that US Military and US Government personnel stationed overseas are being punished by VW in the buyback process. The agents will not confirm that the 90 buyback timeline (after the initial 20 day wait) will be respected.

This is wrong. The logistics to sell American spec VWs, amazingly, can be worked out with Military Autosource and other dealerships. But, VW is acting like they've never considered US personnel overseas may have bought VW/TDIs before being assigned overseas.

This is an affront to those serving the US abroad. Please FTC, take note.

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 reach the screen that allows you to  explain what happened in your own words.

Your information will be entered into a secure database that is accessible to law enforcement. Comments on this blog are not part of the law enforcement database.

Done. Thank you!

It is shocking that VW refuses to confirm that they will respect the timetable for US personnel abroad. It sounds frustrating for all but the inability to communicate even the basic possibilities at this late stage is unacceptable, a clear message to the value they place on the military community, and contrary to the court ruling as I understand it.

Hi there,
I'm currently stationed overseas as well. Have you gotten any further since November 2016? I'm curious on what your process was like. Thank you!

Ms. Small, What is going on? Please update us!

Okay, so now that VW is out of compliance with the court order, verbiage needs to be added to the court order that anyone who followed the order and had their paperwork in by Nov.1st needs to be exempt from the "operable condition" clause (just in case anything happens). Any additional mileage from Nov.1st on, also needs to be excluded from the claim. VW should be prohibited from collecting any further interest on these effected loans.
If these things are added, VW will cease to have any incentive to continue intentionally delaying the process.

Under the FTC Order, VW has a period of 20 business days after November 1, 2016 to determine whether your claim is complete and confirm whether you are eligible. Those 20 business days take place over approximately four calendar weeks.

You previously, over and over again, said 10 business days to notify us. It's even in the summary at the beginning of this blog. My documents have been deemed "complete" since Oct. 26th, but my "eligibility" has yet to be determined. So are you NOW saying that they have 20 days once my docs are complete to determine my eligibility? This directly violates the court order and I have no idea why you are defending their violations and now insisting they have 20 days?

Under the FTC Order, VW reviews your claim to see whether it is complete, and reviews your claim to see if you are eligible. Under the Order, VW shall do those things within 20 business days after November 1, 2016.

That is not what the judgment stated. It said 10 days per status and up to 90 after Eligibility has been determined. PLEASE don't act like we can't read

I called mid-morning today because I wanted to change my designation from fix to buyback. The person who answered my call was very pleasant, took my claim number and was able to look up my claim. She went on to tell me that even though the portal indicates my claim is being reviewed, it was actually accepted November 12 (which is a Saturday). Hmmmmm, makes me wonder about that one. She also said that I should leave my claim the way it because to change anything would cause my claim to have to be resubmitted and put to the back of the line. However, the FAQs say to call to make this type of a change. Thank you VW, I'll keep my claim the way it is and when the time comes, I'll go to the dealer for the buyback.

It would be nice if the government agency involved in this case could be more forthcoming with comments as opposed to the standard yadda, yadda, yadda comments that we are given. It could be that this is all that she is able to share with us at the present moment, but I do hope that they are taking notice, especially given today's headlines of VW slashing 30,000 jobs, mostly overseas, but still. . .

I have uploaded all my documents and received the following notification on Oct 26 - "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."

It's been more than 10 business days since this note and Nov 1. What recourse do I have?

Under the FTC Order, VW has a period of 20 business days after November 1, 2016 to determine whether your claim is complete and confirm whether you are eligible. Those 20 business days take place over approximately four calendar weeks.

 

All of my requested documents were submitted on the online Claims portal around 10/1 (license, reg, financial consent). Following the final court approval on 10/25, the status of those documents changed to read, "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."

Today is 11/18. Simple math, that's 18 business days since 10/25. Even using your 10 business days from 11/1 information, it's already over 3-days and counting.

As far as I can tell, VW is violating the conditions of their court ruling. The "help line" (1-844-98-CLAIM) - is filled with incompetent people that have no authority to actually help you. I've reached them by phone on 3 separate occasions and they are unable to review your account. And when you request to speak with someone that can actually assist you, they claim that "they're having technical difficulties and cannot transfer you."

Like many of you, right now I'm out thousands of dollars because I chose to purchase a new vehicle rather than continue to rack up miles on my car and take a lesser settlement. VW should be held accountable for breaking the terms of their court agreement. This has gone on WAY too long. They've lost my trust and I will never buy another VW product. Above all, I just want my money that i'm rightfully owed. Enough is enough.

“Final approval of the 2.0L TDI settlement is an important milestone in our journey to making things right in the United States, and we appreciate the efforts of all parties involved in this process. Volkswagen is committed to ensuring that the program is now carried out as seamlessly as possible for our affected customers and has devoted significant resources and personnel to making their experience a positive one.” – Hinrich J. Woebcken, President and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.

Significant resources? Seamlessly as possible?? Why did any of us expect that VW would actually be truthful and be held accountable? Ms. Small I have filed a report with the FTC, now what??

Thank you for filing at FTC.gov/complaint. The FTC is actively monitoring Volkswagen’s compliance with the requirements of the 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.

My 4 week wait, after all documents have been approved is this Friday. If I don't hear anything by then, I will also be filling out a complaint, because every week I am still driving my car, my buyback amount is going down. I already lost $3k due to higher than normal mileage, but it better not go much further, or I will be ignoring the recall and keeping the car until it falls apart.

They are failing to comply. What is being done to ensure compliance?

Volkswagon really knows how to jerk people around! I am 100% on to their scheme and what they are doing. The longer they have to stall and put it off, inevitably more wrecks and higher mileage will occur. After waiting over 5 weeks for an account reset (apparently a “system glitch?”), I was finally able to upload my docs last month with an “approval” date of Nov 6th and was all good to go. Guess what ended up happening? I get an email this past Monday morning on the 15th stating that my registration was expired? Well to no surprise, it wasn’t and does not until Jan 2017. So just to appeal and please the VW back shop gods who decide to “review” these items and so I would not have to wait MONTHS for a response to why they did that, I went to DMV to re-register this vehicle which I will not be keeping, so I was thrilled about that. After obtaining a new registration, I faxed it into the number that was stated in the email…and the status of them obtaining or anything regarding that document is still to this day unheard from. I have called and submitted FOUR “escalation” tickets (because of yet another “lines are down/system issue”) to be called back or contacted, and little to no surprise, have not heard a thing in return. Upon my SIXTH call to them, I was told something COMPLETELY different as to what documentation they require. I am now being told that they require a co-registrant’s info….WHAT?! Did the last person on the phone not just tell me that your “rules” just changed and only 1 of the registered owners needed to be submitted? YES! And oh, where exactly where was I supposed to upload that info?? Because all that is on my account is for MY government issued ID and nobody else’s, and YES I selected within my eligibility questionnaire that there were 2 people. So here I am sitting on my thumb along with my other 2 friends who are in a very similar boat with multiple pointless rejections and “escalation” tickets. Next step is attorneys becoming involved in this very deceptive and scandalous “timely” process.

Last update from me. I actually got a call back from a supervisor!

I explained to them the situation regarding the registration and he told me the Customer Service representative was wrong the only requirement for the registration is that is was in your name between a certain range of dates. I am assuming this is so people didn't con people out of the TDI and are now trying to cash in on it.

So please ignore the post above as TDLie had said, you can complete it with expired Reg but it still needs to show you had the vehicle during a certain range of dates.

I hope that makes sense.

I signed up on the claims website on 7-24-2016, saying that I preferred a buyback of my 2011 VW Jetta Sportwagen "clean diesel". On 10-10-2016 I received an email from VGOA asking me to upload information on the vehicle and its owners--I uploaded this information on 10-11-2016 and received an email saying that they had received everything and that the information was being reviewed. On 10-24-2016 I received an email saying that all of my information was accepted and they will next be determining my eligibility for the buyout. If I was eligible, I would be receiving an offer within 10 business days. I have heard nothing since. On 11-15-2016 I called the VGOA claims hotline and waited 40 minutes to talk to a representative. The representative asked for all of the information that had already been included in the claim--I don't think their computers were working! I was told that I would be contacted by a supervisor within 72 hours. I have heard nothing but did call the hotline today (11-18-2016) and got a recorded message that there were a large number of claims and they have no information to provide. They have exceeded the court mandated guidelines and appear to be in contempt of court. You would think that with all of the software expertise this company has, they would be able to set up a website that could handle the very mess they created. I am out here alone with no one representing me. I was lied to about the car when I bought it, and continue to be ignored by the criminals that built the car. Time to put the heat on this company.

Sounds like the exact same phone call I had Thursday and again today. I am not holding my breath a supervisor calls back in 24-72 hours.

It would be nice to have someone tell us the status of our claim even after 10 business days. I called the hotline today and just got the run around. I am sure the poor employees answering the calls are just as frustrated having no real answers to give us.
Why can't we be told what the status of our claim is and why it is taking longer than 10 days to get to the next step. Quite frustrating.
We are waiting for our final final offer. Going on 12 business days.

I called this morning got thru fairly quickly and explained to the woman that the 10 business days passed including veterans day and the election day and she advised that they are behind. She stated that they do not have enough capacity to enforce all the claims. I have filed an FTC complaint however it appears that they are doing nothing to enforce this so I just email the people listed on the court document...

Today marks the 11th business day since I was informed on November 02, 2016, that VW has reviewed all of my documents and would inform me in 10 business days if I am eligible to participate in the settlement, and would provide me with a final offer. I called this morning and got through witin minutes, but of course I received the same response as the rest of the group. They aren't able to access my file and a supervisor will now call and email me with 24-27 business hours, which basically amounts to another 5 days. Normally I would not file a complaint so quickly, but I do believe that they are taking advantage of us. I too was one of the ones that filed my claim in July, uploaded my paperwork on 09/30 and finally heard from them on 11/02, while others filed much later and have already received a buy-back offer. I have been patiently waiting to count the 10 days and I was sure to include the Veteran's Day holiday in my count. If there are others in my situation, please take the time to file a complaint with the FTC so we as a group can begin to build the appropriate amount of pressure to have VW come into compliance with court guidelines.

I finally have confirmation that my claim is complete! Now I'm on the 10 business day waiting period to see if I'm eligible (I am).

The online portal says 10 business days but from what I'm reading here it may be longer...? Ugh.

Since I sent my Final Offer file in on Monday, I wanted to know if they really did get my file since there was a computer break down on Monday. So I called the VW hotline. The VW service agent said she could see the file and it looked OK. My question is just how much time does it really take to see 2 pages of signatures? One minute seems like a more than enough time to see that the pages have all the signatures. So why hasn't my Final Offer been reviewed and an email sent to me
to make my appointment by today Friday? Sure makes me want to buy another VW? Not!!!

I hope there are working this week end to make for the time lost because of the computer break down.

It's been over 10 business days since my documents were accepted and I have yet to hear if my eligibility has been confirmed.

Here's what's happened in my situation:

I submitted the required documentation, and on November 2 I received notification that my documents were accepted and I would be receiving a final offer within 10 business days. Consistent with the rules of civil procedure, that time frame excludes weekends and holidays (which I assumed it would). However, it is now November 18 (over 10 business days after I was approved, even if they exclude the date of service, and I still haven't heard anything.

It's not necessarily that I want to get rid of my car immediately, it's that it is starting to seem like a delay tactic to either hope my car is totaled (in the event they would be required to pay out substantially less) or the mileage increases and they can pay out less. Generally I like my car, so I don't mind driving it for awhile longer, but it seems fishy. Also, I called the vw settlement hotline today, and it was hilarious. The guy who answered acted like he was answering my call in between keg stands at a frat party. He had to "find a pen" to take my claim number down with, and then clearly had no database to look up my claim, so it was obvious to me he would have nothing useful to say. Anyway, just an example about what's happening during this process.

Ms. Smalls How many of the listed items in the VW settlement process have they failed to meet already? This is directly from the settlement documents.

[Note: VW Fail's comment included Sections XIII B - K of the FTC's Partial Stipulated Order for Permanent Injunction and Monetary Judgment]

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