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VW buybacks and lease terminations to begin

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

  • You have until September 1, 2018 to submit a claim. You can change your mind about which option you want until you bring your car in to VW.
  • You can submit a claim on, or call 1-844-98-CLAIM to request a paper claim form. In order to complete your claim, you will need certain documents, including the vehicle title and proof of registration.
  • After you submit your claim, VW has 10 business days to tell you whether your claim is complete. If your claim isn’t complete, VW will tell you what you need to do to complete it.
  • After your claim is complete, VW has 10 business days to review it and confirm that you’re eligible.
  • After you have been confirmed to be eligible, VW will send you an offer letter. If you accept VW’s offer, you will sign the letter, get it notarized and return it to VW. After VW confirms that it received your letter, you can schedule an appointment. You will be able to choose from different options. If you choose:
    • buyback, you will be able to schedule an appointment that happens within the next 90 days.
    • lease termination, you will be able to schedule an appointment that happens within the next 45 days.
    • an approved emissions modification, VW will notify you when a modification is available for your vehicle. Once a modification is available, you will be able to schedule an appointment within 90 days.
  • If your car was drivable on September 16, 2016, but isn’t drivable on the day of your buyback or approved emissions modification appointment, you’re still eligible for some compensation. Visit or call VW at 1-844-98-CLAIM for more information.
  • You can choose to get your buyback or lease termination payment by check at your appointment, or have it deposited electronically to your bank account within three banking days. If you have a car loan, VW will apply your buyback payment to the loan and pay you any remaining amount. If, at your buyback appointment, your car’s mileage is more than the expected mileage range from when you submitted your claim, your buyback amount could be reduced. If that happens, you will get a check within three banking days.
  • When your buyback or approved emissions modification is complete, VW will give you an itemized receipt that shows the amount you received and explains any adjustment, such as mileage or a loan payment.

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

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

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


Please let us know where the 20 BUISNESS days are in the court documents? It is 2-10 business day periods, one to approve the requested documents, and one to receive the offer.

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

Ms. Small, or anyone for that matter      Can you please point to me in the partial stipulated judgment where VW has 20 business days total? Section XIII C.2 gives VW 10 business days to approve documents. Section XIII C.3 gives VW 10 business days to determine eligibility. Those two sections are not combined. Once VW completes C.2, the 10 business day clock starts on C.3. In my case they approved my documents in 2 business days, VW does not get to add the remaining 8 days to determine eligibility. The day business day clock expired on the 17th and no word from VW.

I received my "final buyback" offer today and it is $5492 less than what I have calculated multiple times using the charts and process on the site. I called the 844-98-claims help line and asked what steps I take if the final buyback offer seems incorrect. She said that she did not know and was unable to find out what I do next. She provided her "friendly advice that I should just accept what they are offering because they may go bankrupt and then I will get nothing". Can you please advise me on a number or name of a person I can call to get them to recheck their calculation because of the large discrepancy between the amount calculated by using all of the charts and process as instructed (including mileage adjustment)? I am stuck here. Thank you

Please talk to VW about the buyback amount.

The FTC Order contains a judgment that will provide consumers with substantial protections in the unlikely event of a bankruptcy.

My impression is VW is pushing this process out as slow as possible. What they don't realize is that their performance on this directly impacts my interest in ever owning another VW. We have 2 vw's eligible, but they can't get their act together.

2010 Sportwagon in CA. June 2016 registration was coming due and I parked the car and put it on non-op status. When we uploaded docs, uploaed the proof of non-op status. 10 days later that doc was bounced. We contact claims and they tell us that we HAVE to upload a registration document, not the non-op document. We are told by claims that there is NO problem with uploading the old registration document even though that reg expired June 2016 and we put it on non-op. Upload the expired re doc as per instructions. Wait 10 days. We are told that we have uploaded an expired reg. document. Call claims, another 2 hour hold, Claims agent can't understand why they bounced 2nd submission, then tells me I will have to re-register the car off of non-op in order to drive it to buyback. I say no, I can use a CA one trip permit for that. Know I must wait for 3 days for a supervisor to contact me....I'm sure that will happen just like the other requests I have sent in. This is the typical governmental/big business run around. When it finally happens I will take the 40K+ in buybacks and will be buying a new certainly will not be a VW!

Is VW paying the costs for the notaries for their documents? I have 2 VW's, each with 2 people on the title. To notarize the buyback agreements it will cost me $40 in notary fees. Is VW covering these costs? Why not? Both people on the title must be present at the drop off, why doesn't VW have the buyback coordinator use a notary at the dealership to handle this? It appears this is yet another way for VW to toss an additional time delay into the process.

Is anyone having issues on the portal. The website spins with each step of the process for me. I'm finally at the point where I'm asked to schedule an appointment to bring my car in, then I'm asked for my mileage, then it spins until it times out, not allowing me to do anything. I've called their number many times and am told someone will get back, escalated to tech team and no one gets back. It's been over a week now. Tried all browsers, IE being their preferred, cleared my cache, tried using different laptops. What can I do?

My documents are approved, dealer told me "we're scheduling appointments starting after 11/18..." I haven't had anything from VW since my initial approval letter two weeks ago.... I want to (not only) turn in my car; I also want to stop insuring it and making payments...

Disclaimer: my family is in the car business, including a VW franchise. There is nothing available to dealers that consumers don't already know; they're in the dark too....

I sent in everything they asked and they said they received it and need nothing else and expect a letter within 10 days. This has been going on for a month......come on.....with each week more miles are being put on the car. I think they are stalling on purpose for this reason. All these miles add up on vw side so we get a smaller check

I received an email on Oct 29th saying my documents had been approved and they are determining my eligibility. Today is the 20th of November. I called and they said after the 10 days to confirm documents and 10 days to determine eligibility a third party has an additional 10 days to determine eligibility before they submit an offer by email. Everyone here is saying it's a 20 day wait when VW is telling me it's 30 business days total before an offer.

Anyone know how long the actual return process at the dealership takes on average? Are we to allow for several hours or is simply sign, drop the keys and move forward? I called the dealer and they didn't know much but did tell me that they will begin the buybacks on Nov 23rd. They also told me that a lady who is direct from VW is handling the onsite claims and that she'd be processings them Tuesday through Saturday.
We too, like so may others are now patiently waiting for the offer to arrive. We've own six VWs over the years from our college days and currently have two sitting in our driveway. After this nearly 1.5 yr ordeal I have to say that there's much hurt and disappointment. I pulled my car off the road two months ago and replaced it with a Mazda-3-GT and love it. I'd had hoped to replace my wife's Routan with the new VW Tiguan XL or the Atlas but after reading all the issues that VW is putting all of us through we're have second thoughts.
Tomorrow is the 20th and we still don't expect any news and even though my accountant wanted this issue to be cleared up on this years return it's now very obvious that it's going way into 2017. I just hope to settle before something crazy happens like VW filling for protection or WW3 and then everything stops.
Best of luck to everyone!

Its time to get this documentation business into the media.. VW does have a VW diesel webpage they could use to keep us up too date if they are having problems. Over a year ago they processed their goodwill packages and it is obvious that most of us were processed through that data base and would become eligible, so after providing ID, a title and registration, what is the lengthy process time and holdup????? PS, would also like to know who hired to rude representatives who answer the phones??

Agreed. I have been searching the Internet to see if these delays are being reported, but I can't find anything.

I finnally submitted my fraud claim to FTC this morning. I recieved a letter that my paperwork was complete and should hear with in 10 buisness days that I will recieve an offer, I got that email Nov 3. My "offer" should have com in 11/18. I call 11/18, 11/19 and was told there is an "indefinite, unspecified" waiting period for buyback offers. Im scared that as I wait, I wont be able to even trade in my car for $2 for a new car, that my mileage will go over the recommended buyback threshhold, that the fall offers will fly buy (Im buying a SUBARU!!!), and that VW is now dragging thier feet to gain time and try to get out of the buyback order. Can they file bankruptcy and get out of the buyback court order? Bridget, can they get out of this buyback court order somehow? Jeez.

The FTC Order contains a judgment that will provide consumers with substantial protections in the unlikely event of a bankruptcy.

What are these "substantial protections" and how does the FTC protect the consumer when one has the inability to pay or comply with the Court order? With penalties that line the pockets of organizations rather than the the consumers? Why are we subject to mileage conditions? Why must we continue to pay for fraudulent product? Why can't we get real information/answers when we call the claims line? Why aren't we getting calls returned from supervisors as told when we speak to VW hotline reps? I have already filed a complaint with the FTC, so what other steps can I take? Are we able to write the judge in charge of the settlement? It is time for real answers and action, as the responses regarding the time they have to be in compliance appear to change as the dates on the calendar progress. Please know that I am asking these questions in sincerity and not trying to be rude.

Jetta 09-my status remained awaiting your fax. I filed on Nov.8, Nov.18 the status is in review mode. Not sure of what to expect next. I finally parked my Jetta ( has under 40K in miles) and purchased a 2017 Passat because the incentives were too great to pass up. Not thrilled that a car payment will begin in January. I owned my Jetta and await payment to pay off Passat. Lucky to be able to park the Jetta but not happy at the prospect of a car payment if these people continue at this slow pace.


Not true...they handled this so well with the goodwill offer. Plus this is the BEST car I ever owned.

If everyone is unsatisfied with the outcome of Their buyback situation then everybody needs to place a complaint on the federal trade commission website and something may come of it. They will not do anything until you have placed a complaint It's pretty simple

People have been filing complaints, for the last few weeks. That's what is so frustrating, we keep hearing that the FTC is monitoring this and that's all. That doesn't mean anything to me. People need to hear specifics, details.

I agree and I filed a complaint with the FTC on the 18th. For some reason my post from the 18th has that sentence edited out. I encourage everyone to file. However, I agree with a Angry Bird, it would be nice to hear what the FTC is doing considering the "10-day" excuses have passed. Will anything be done? Also, I find it interesting that some have posted that some VW reps are able to see approvals on accounts, but for most of us the VW rep states that they cannot access our account. Why not? Every other company has the means to do so. VW is simply making it impossible to get answers. Why have a claims number if you can't get answers? It is a scam and complete lack of respect for the consumer, the Court, and the FTC. There are enough of us posting and filing complaints that the FTC should already be addressing the Court for the consumer, hence the reason so many are getting frustrated. It would be nice to hear a response from the FTC about the filed complaints.

Sorry, I meant I agree with Angry Jetta, not Angry Bird. :-)

FYI I feel bad for Bridget. She's just trying to do her job the best she can

What are the penalties for VW missing these 10 business day windows? I don't find it in the settlement agreement. Did everyone skip that part of the settlement?

Bridget, you have told us several times that the FTC is in contact with the settlement program and monitoring them. So then what has been said to VW about their accountability and what measures were taken to make them promise to fix these problems?

Has anyone else had trouble with the settlement website?

I submitted documentation on 22 SEP 2016. I have been following this blog, so I patiently awaited for 16 NOV 2016 (10 business days from 01 NOV), but no contact from VW Claims indicating whether my documentation was completed. As with many others, reaching a someone at 1-844-98-CLAIM who can tell you definitively what is going on with your claim is extremely difficult at best. I did reach someone who indicated that one of my documents needed to be resubmitted, but she could not help me do that - the best she could offer was to have a supervisor call me back in 72 hours. I declined because I was told last week that a supervisor would contact me in 72 hours and that call never came. Luckily I received enough information to discern the problem, and there was an option on 1-844-98-CLAIM to change documentation. That option got me to a live person who connected me to another person who was very helpful. He was able to get his supervisor to take me back two steps in the online portal so that I could resubmit my documentation. The downside is that it also puts me at the end of a very long line. I know the Bridget Small keeps advising people to file a complaint on the FTC website. My ask is that Bridget escalate the concerns being voiced here to her leadership - Volkswagen Group of America has not established a process or level of service commensurate with what has been called for in the court order.

Good Morning,

I completed all my required paperwork and uploaded to the VW claims site and on November 3, 2016 I received an email stating my claim was complete and that I would receive my offer letter. It has been more than 10 business days and I still have not received anything. What are the next steps I should take?

Received an email at 7 am on Nov. 4 stating that my documents were complete and under review. 10 business days have passed and no word from VW. Tried calling VW but was not able to talk to anyone. What now FTC?

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

You can report problems with the settlement process to the FTC at 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.

I am definitely going to file a complaint. I am a high mileage user of my vehicle using it for work purposes and the way VW is going about this is costing me hundreds of dollars. Lets hope my timing belt doesn't go!!!!!!!

The First Report of the independent claims supervisor states that VW has issued timely determinations in 52% of cases. Is that a passing grade in the FTC eyes?

To clarify: the November 25, 2016 First Report of the Independent Claims Supervisor said that as of November 20, 2016, VW had issued a timely determination in 52% of cases that had advanced to the second ten-business-day review period.

Bridget, even if that is true - 52% in any school is a solid "F". My documents were accepted as complete back on November 3rd, and no offer yet. I've called several times and they have no answers. What exactly does the FTC do as far as holding VW accountable? Yes I have filed a complaint. Does it matter?

Why are there no new post on the website since November 18th. I know I posted since then. It is now November 21st. This doesn't help my feelings toward VW and my feelings toward what little help we are getting from the FTC. My Final Offer has been downloaded since November 14th. How can it be possible that it can not be looked at in this amount of time? How long does it take to see if the 2 pages are signed with a Notary seal? Less than one minute? And according to the VW settlement pages there is no 10 day period to review the Final Offer.

The FTC's Consumer Center blog comments are moderated during normal business hours. Blog comments received after business hours on Friday, November 18, 2016 will start being processed on Monday, November 21, 2016.

TDI Walt, you are lucky, I turned in my buyback off on 11/4 and am still waiting on it to be looked at. I have posted on this site several times trying to get a response from the FTC regarding this and have received no comment.

TDI Walt, I am waiting the same answer. I had to make yet another lease payment, according to the rules the settlement cannot take place if any money is owed.

Bridget Small - I took your counsel. FTC Complaint submitted (REF # xxxxxxxx), for what it is worth. My preference would be for VGoA to just meet it's obligations and hire and train staff commensurate with the level needed to meet the court mandates.

saabdrvr, thank you for filing at

I have signed and had the final offer notarized, what is the average wait time (if anyone knows)

A friend of mine got his Final Offer accepted in less than 24 hours. It was accepted on Monday, November 14th and he sent it to them on November 14th. I am still waiting from Monday, November 14th. I called the VW hotline today and they were not taking calls and they was no way to leave my number so that they can call me back.

I filed a complaint on a representative named Trevor this morning. Can't provide any information, had no access to actual claims information. He ended up cursing at me under his breath. 10 business days where up last week. No new information, no updates to that joke of a claims portal. Automated system now says it will take a month to complete a claim when the FTC information says they have 2 10 day periods from the 1st of November. Doesn't seem like they are complying with the judgement in good faith.

This blog says that 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 has 10 business days to review  your claim and confirm whether you are eligible. Those two periods of 10 business days will occur over approximately four calendar weeks, or approximately one calendar month, allowing for holidays.

13 business days after getting the we will notify you in 10 business days email. So VW is in violation and nothing is being done. A full scam once again. It shouldn't take this long to determine my eligibility. They failed to plan accurately. I was prepared to purchase another VW but no longer. Mazda cx5 here I come.

I was so angry yesterday morning when I read on a blog that someone, who had a loan through their credit union just like me, submitted their docs 10/24, were approved 11/1, and they received their offer 11/15. I got all my information in way back on 9/19, was approved on 10/25 and nothing yet. I called them yesterday, finally got a person who could speak clearly, and was told the third party reviewer approved me on 11/4. She also said I should get my offer today, but nothing yet. She added that they have hired additional personnel to move these claims along. I am beyond frustrated at this point. I still don't understand why they're pushing mine and all these other people on here to the back when we got our docs in early. The rep told me to "just be patient"; easy for her to say when she's not the one being held with a car that can't be traded. I'm done with VW; I will never buy one of their cars again.

I'm right there with you. I applied the very first day they had the website set up back in July. Did not even get my email to go ahead and upload my docs till Oct. 10th when I saw some people were contacted in September. They told me months ago I would be one of the first ones they would get to. Liars.

I took the time to post relative details that I have experienced Saturday and yet it was never posted. I was sure to have read and following all the posting-privacy statements and there were no links of any kind, just my experience with VW. Yet today I see posts from today and not mine from over the weekend.

Why is that? Is this not an open and transparent board?


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