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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


paperwork accepted Nov 28 no final offer

The biggest fraud case in us history and this is the response I get after following the lead to file a complaint. Thank you for contacting the Federal Trade Commission. We have reviewed your complaint and have determined that the following information may assist you. Auto Warranties & Maintenance - What a joke!

Thank you for filing a complaint. If you provide an email address when you file a complaint, you receive an automated email reply indicating we received your complaint. When you include the words VW and clean diesel, the law enforcement personnel who review the Sentinel database will more easily find your complaint.

What about the emissions mod? I received an email stating that all my documents were accepted and would have a final offer within 10 days. Last I heard the EPA or CARB hadn't approved one yet. So those of us doing the mod sit out here waiting till maybe the end of January to see if they even approve one? I looked again on their website and the 10 business days final offer has been removed and now just says " you will be given a final offer if eligible ." Aren't we already eligible given the fact we already received the "goodwill" package. It also states that we will not be given restitution till the modification is done? And my car is due for renewed registration at the end of the month. Will I even be able to renew it in Utah?

The frequently asked questions on have information about compensation for people who choose the approved emissions modification option. The FAQ says: Under the terms of the Class Action Settlement, if you choose the Approved Emissions Modification option, you will receive the restitution payment after you take your vehicle to a dealership and the Approved Emissions Modification is installed.

Please check with your your state DMV about renewing your registration.

So I got my final offer. And it says you get 2/3 the settlement when u do the step 1 of 2 then the other 1/3 when step 2 of 2 is done. However it states in the documents that that it could be till may of 2018 to get it done. Pending an approval by CARB or EPA. If they even approve it. But on the table website they have a deadline of Jan. 2017 to have their final submittal to them. And it could take weeks or months for EPA and CARB review it. If they don't at that point I have to serrender it with deductions or depreciation iwith mileage, damage etc. And based on research I can't even find any proposal submitted to the EPA. CARB.

My BF had no problems renewing his AZ registration on his VW just last month, even though this issue is known. I don't think any state would be foolish enough to refuse vehicles knowing that this is an ongoing lawsuit, as long as it officially still passes the test. That would be thousands of headaches on the steps of City hall. Most states also offer Waivers for a certain period, to let you drive pending getting the problem fixed. You have to call your DMV to find the specifics though.

This is what upsets me too. I opted for the fix. What difference does it make if we opt for the fix or take a buy back we still own a defective car either way so why do we have to wait for the fix. If you can't fix it then it will turn into a buy back. Deduct what VW gave us for the guaranteed amount and give us the balance of the buy back. We still own a defective car.

Bridget, i submitted my claim as soon as the portal opened, and uploaded all the required docs. VW responded saying the docs are correct and will determine eligibility and respond in 10 business days. That is now 22+ business days ago and still no offer letter as promised. They have now removed the 10 day language from the document upload area as of this morning. When can we expect to receive our letters? 10 business days is not 22.

Oct. 3 I submitted my documents. Nov. 1 I received an email telling me that they accepted the documents. Dec. 9 nothing yet. Yet. I called VW Credit because I have purchased another car because I was told that if the car breaks down or is in an accident I need to repair it. VW Credit gave me a 3 month extension on payments. So no payments for the next 3 months. BTW my new car is a GMC

Bridget, it has been 4 weeks exactly since volkswagen orginally stated they had reviewed my documents and would determine eligibilty and send my a final offer within 10 business days. I'm still waiting. I have gotten nothing. Every time I log onto the claims site it tells me the same thing they'll provide me with a final offer after determining eligibilty. I thought they had 10 business days. It's been well pass that and frankly I'm tired of not getting anywhere with this. It's been a MONTH since my documents were reviewed. How much longer are they going to keep me waiting?!

I submitted my documents Oct 2nd and I'm still waiting for an offer letter. Getting really sick of the hassle... waste of time to shop for a new car when we have no idea how long this will actually take.

VW and clean diesel Settlement Offer.
We received an Settlement Offer from VW which has a vehicle buy-back value about $4000 LESS than Court Document 1607-01 sets out. called 1-844 number. Person could only passed my concerns along. No supervisor available. No person who could explain how the calculations were made. Who is supervising this process? Is there someone else I can contact? Claims Supervisor? VW help line could not give me any other number to call

We just had the same experience. The ranges indicated for our 2010 Jetta TDI sportwagen on the low end was supposed to be around $14775. They are telling us in the offer it's only worth $8,200. That's $6575 lower than court docs indicate for your our model year and what the vw claims website calculator indicated. There is no way we will accept that amount. Even with the $5100 additional restitution we aren't up to where the buyback amount should be. I'm not sure what we are supposed to do about it going forward though?

Have you found an answer? I have the same issue with our 2012 Passat. It's close to $5,000. AHHHHhhhhhhhh

I have the same issue. The final offer is 7,000.00 less than the value of the car according to the court documents. I called the claim number and they are unable to explain the calculations. I was referred to another phone number and you have to leave a voice message. They will return your phone call in the order it was received. I am sure it won't be soon.

Supervisors must always be gone or in meetings keep getting that same run around too.

Bridget-How long does VW have after the offer letters and release have been submitted? I cannot find this in the documents, I have called the claims line to hear"We are backed up because of the holidays." The person I spoke with told she could not give me a timeline or when the offer letter and relaese would be looked at.

After you sign, notarize & return an offer, VW has 90 days to complete a buyback.

VW advised me on the 31st of October that my claim is is complete and all documentation recieved, and they are reviewing for eligibility. I have not heard anything since that time. It's been 42 business days. We are paying a monthly payment and insurance, but stopped driving vehicle because of mileage deduction and risk of accident. I've called a few times now and get the same canned response about the process. I've been told I am eligible and to expect a letter to look for an email, yet have never given them any information about me or vehicle. HELP.

That is EXACTLY my issue. I filled out the form online and submitted ALL the documents BEFORE Oct. The only "status" is Complete. I have received NO update on review for eligibility, nor any offer, meanwhile, I still am making payments and mileage is being put on the car.
VW has definitely screwed up- I WOULD'VE bought another, but with this cluster and lack of information available-no thank you. There isn't even a way to let anyone know that I've received no eligibility letter etc. Very frustrating!

I turned in my vw on 12/16, I received my money from vw but they haven't paid off my loan as promised. I'm now making car payments on a car I don't have and a new one. How long until they have to pay off my loan?

Becky, was your car financed through VW Credit or a different bank?

Did they pay off your loan? We are in the same boat!!!

Has your loan been paid off yet? I turned my car in on December 22nd and loan is still not paid off. I called VW number and that are useless...actually hung up on me. Mine is with VW credit.

I turned in my car on 12/22 and it still hasn't been paid off. I can't find anything about a timeline for that!

I know...I submitted an FTC complaint as 20 days have passed since the "accepted docs" email... I get the following from the FTC today:

Thank you for contacting the Federal Trade Commission. We have reviewed your complaint and have determined that the following information may assist you. Buying a New Car -
Is this a joke, or what???

No, that's not a joke, it's an auto-reply from the Sentinel system. When you entered your complaint, you probably used the Auto category (as we've asked you to do). You may have indicated your complaint was related to car buying.

You must have provided your email address and agreed to get a response. Once your complaint was entered into the database, you got an auto-reply acknowledging your complaint.

We've been asking people who submit complaints about VW to include the words VW and diesel in the text box portion of their complaints. By doing so, you make it more efficient for staff to locate VW-related complaints.

Hi Becky, you can submit all your claim documentation through the Claims Portal. They then review the documents you submitted (mine took around 12 days), and send you an offer letter. You can print that, have it notarized and then upload it to the Claims Portal. Then you should hear from them within 5 days and you can schedule your return. Do it all through the Claims Portal online, much faster than mail.

Except I still have yet to hear from them and it has been about 20 days since I've submitted all of my information. Pretty crazy that they are this slow to respond.

I agree - my paperwork was accepted as complete on November 3rd and I've heard nothing since then. You'd think there would be some way to hold them accountable, especially since they stated a time frame and I have to watch my miles to stay within the range I reported.

There is a way to hold them accountable, do not buy another vw

I received conformation that my documents were complete on Nov 1 and they said 10 days. I'm still waiting for an offer and they took the 10 days off. I have did it all through the online portal. It makes me mad because I continue to pay payment and interest on the car.Called and they said someone would return my call in 48-72 hours, it's been two weeks!

It's been a month since my documents were accepted! I have called 4 times and get a different answer every time. Was told I would have my offer 11/30. Just called and was told that they have been backed up and should have it soon? Everyone I talk to after waiting up to 45min sounds like they have no clue as to what is going on? This is becoming ridiculous!

Hey Rudy, what financial document do you need to submit online? I have tried a statement and a payoff document, an vw rejected both. The dealer has been no help either.

The portal specified to me that I needed to upload the current registration (which includes my name and the VIN, and a photo ID (my DL). My Passat is financed through VW. That was all that was required, and I received notice that the documents were accepted. There may be additional requirements if not financed through VW, but the portal should specify to you exactly what is required.

I uploaded all of my required documentation. I got it all approved in November. They just notified me yesterday that they needed my previous registration. I faxed it over today. Now, I have to wait another 2 weeks before I hear if I'm approved or not. This whole process is aggravating!!

As a followup, I was due to receive my final offer package by December 9th, and actually received it on December 14th. I expected it to be later, based on what I have heard here. I live in Washington State and my financing was through VW, which may have made it easier. Just uploaded the signed, notarized document today (Dec 16th). Am hoping the turnaround is fairly quick. We shall see.

So here it is, 11/21/16. My documents were submitted and approved in October. According to the portal, and followed up by the numerous reiterations, VW should have had 10 business days to send me my final offer. Today (Since 11/1/16) is business day 14. No portal update, no email, no snail mail. Am I missing something?

My documents were uploaded back in October as well and the website stated the 10 business days for an offer.....well, I called them to see if there was info they could give me and they tell me they are busier than expected so it is taking longer??? Are you kidding me? 450,000 vehicles and you were not expecting a high response?? I have called the dealership, customer service and the claims line and no one knows nothing. Then the dealership emails me for some promo saying they need my car, I responded back about you can buy back my car as VW said they would...CRICKETS, no response!

According to all of the timeline parameters set forth by Ms Bridget Small, I have waited 22 business days now for my approval offer to come through. I'm also noting that since before Thanksgiving, she has not offered ANY commentary on folks in this situation. I too have a lien remaining on my vehicle hence the delay. My wife's TDI was paid off & she received her offer in very short order! Bridget, the vehicles with liens are being unfairly delayed. Please respond...

You are correct about the finances vehicles being on the back burner! I have had several tdi owners return their plates because their buy back is complete. It was also confirmed by a local dealer that the vehicles bought back so far are ones owned with no liens. One such owner did not even upload his paperwork until the first of November and his has already been bought back. VW is still lying to the people who drive their dirty TDI vehicles with no recourse for us. I for one will never own another one.

Docs sent to vw on 11/29/16. Told the same..should have offer letter on 12/27. Called on 12/29. No idea when letter will come. Vw is violating tge court order and the ftc is not protecting the consumer...ftc is suppose to protect consumers and people and companies who violate court orders go to prison...are we picking up on this yet???????????????????..

are TDI owners that went with law firms getting faster result than those of us who chose to follow vw instruction and go it alone?

Nope, went through a firm in Madison, WI. Submitted all my information in October, everything has been submitted and reviewed, and I have heard nothing in return from VW. 2014 VW Jetta with NOW 80,500 miles because they take forever. Financed as well.

All my paperwork got processed very quick everything within 20 days I turn my car in on December 2nd and now I'm waiting for the bank to send me information to enter my bank account for direct deposit

Consider yourself the very lucky few for getting as far as you did. Sounds like you have no car AND no money now...add this one to the endless tales of woe! My paperwork was approved and ready on October 30th per email notification by VWGOA. Hmm, 20 business days are so far gone by now. I feel just as powerless over this situation as I do with American politics! Bridget please help us, we beg you!!!

Is the government having to jump thru hoops and wait for their money from vw

Just received my official offer on my 2012 Passat and it was exactly $540 less, to the penny, than the claim portal initial claim quote, which makes this process suspect.

I received my final letter on 11/23. The offer was exactly what I had figured on the values in the court docs. Had it notarized and uploaded 11/28 for final review. Stinks that I have to continue making the payment, more so because I've already purchased my replacement.


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