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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


A bit off topic but I think this is useful info nonetheless: I called dealership about 1 week ago because I was wanting an estimate for a new thermostat. I told the service department that I would be selling my car back to VW any day now (or so I thought). They STILL quoted me $500 to replace thermostat. I called a small shop (with a reputation for being honest AND thorough) that works exclusively on VWagons, and was quoted $80 for the same job.

Super annoyed!!! I wrapped it up with VW on the 21st. Got my settlement transferred to my checking acct on the 23rd but they not payed off my car!! So I was trying to take advantage of December deals during my break. I can't afford to be without a car until January! I can't get another car until I pay off this one!! Does anyone know how long they are taking after u turning ur car for them to pay it off to your bank? Please help!!

Did they finally pay off your loan?

I call the vw claim web site and whatever I do the system hangs up on me. This is out of control.

Process began on October 11, but off officially VW had all docs since Nov 1. On Nov 17 was sent email stating documents are approved. Been told multiple times my offer was on its way by weeks end, weeks ago. I filed complaint with FTC, nothing, no response. Today is December 28 and I have not heard nothing from no one. The order by the court has not been held up to by VW or the FTC. You cannot even call and get talk to a human on the claims hotline unless you hit other numbers as if you do not have a claim. Take a look and if you notice the FTC has stopped responding to out questions on this thread as well!

The FTC continues to receive, monitor, post and respond to comments on this blog post.

Any chance that the FTC may answer questions in a way other than pointing to the settlement that VW is ignoring?

Thank you for your work. I have not received any response from my post. I am know well past my 20 business days and am pretty good at counting business days and accounting for holidays. What are my next steps or leverage points to get my offer? Who is holding Volkswagen accountable for not complying with the court ordered timeframe?

The FTC is monitoring the post on this thread, why are they not providing answers to the consumers who are reporting that rules which YOU have provided in this blog are not being followed? Look at the first page of FTC responses. I am just one of many TDI owners who feel completely victimized in this process and nothing is being done. The FTC standard response is no longer even being given and post are not even getting your response. You can refer us to the court settlement documents as you have and those orders are not being followed. Most of us have filed complaints with the FTC. I have even called the phone number and left a messages provided on the court settlement documents 2 weeks ago. Bridget every post on here are people who are upset because VW is being allowed to make the rules as they go. All we want are true answers and not responses that mean nothing. I can be patient if VW starts making my car payment and paying the insurance on a vehicle that I cannot drive due to a guaranteed financial loss. We are upset that this is being allowed to happen. We are asking for your help!

We have explained that FTC staff are actively monitoring Volkswagen’s compliance with the requirements in the Order, and will take appropriate action if Volkswagen fails to meet its obligations.

We have asked people to report problems to the FTC at, so staff can have information to share with law enforcement. Staff carefully monitor the complaints people submit. When appropriate, FTC staff raise issues identified in consumer complaints with VW, the claims supervisor or the Court.

You can also get information at

It is our understanding that our offers, as outlined by the court order, will be to us in 20 business days. If we have not received our offers in 20 business days that is a violation and needs to be addressed. This is not just an isolated incident. So, back to my original question. With Volkswagen clearly outside of the court ordered timeframe what are our leverage points or next steps?

Bridget the FTC has been provided with this information and we have filed complaints through and left messages with the VW Class Council. The FTC is not taking appropriate actions against VW for not complying 100% with all diesel customers. We are all doing what you are telling us to do. I have been sitting since November 17 with all documents approved and determining my eligibility. Tell me and everyone on here that this is compliant with the court order?

I submitted my paperwork more than 30 days ago. The paperwork was approved but I have not heard a work back. Doesn't seem quite fair considering VW cheated in the first place.

Yeah. Read the 12/22 court transcript, in which the FTC says it is "very enthusiastic" about the progress VW has made to effectuate the settlement. The FTC isn't going to do ANYTHING about the fact that VW is blowing these deadlines. They call them "bumps in the road." The fact that it is literally impossible to get any information beyond what is in their defective "portal" is just inexcusable.

It's been a month and no response after I was told my papers were accepted.

FTC doesn't have the time or inclination to address the buyback issues, Isn't that right! We'll probably all die from the emissions before action is taken. OH that's right, this whole exercise is about getting Non compliant vehicles off of the road to reduce emission gases. Funny how that works when its a BIG business that's at fault. If it was a single case of my car polluting, I wouldn't be allowed to drive it or risk the ticket fro driving a non insp0ected vehicle. HMMMMM

Question for those that may have had to reschedule their buyback appointments...on the website, if you select cancel appointment, does it allow you to look at available appointments prior to canceling or does it cancel yours prior to vieingw other available appointments?

Has anyone had issues with VW paying off their loans?

My appointment was a week ago and my loan is not paid off yet.

Did the buyback rep. give you a date by when it would be paid off? Not that it means much coming from VW, but payment will be due a few days after my appt. Would like to avoid making another payment on the loan.

Yes, I'm still waiting for VW to pay off the loan. I settled on the 20th of December, received the settlement funds in my account the next day and am now waiting for them to pay off the loan. Perhaps they pay once monthly? I don't know and can't reach a settlement operator on their hotline. Also the chat feature is so overloaded I get no response.

There is a thread somewhere in here (page 6, I believe) with contact info for the plaintiff's attorneys, VW's attorneys, and Judge Beyer...I would definitely try reaching out. This is insane. They delayed processing of claims with loans and are now delaying loan payoffs.

Bridget Small - FTC, why is there no specific response to the question "what is being done to address VW exceeding the 10 day response times?

Their website use to say 10 days (as does the long form settlement), now says 20 business days...yet they clearly are exceeding that by an order of magnitude.

As I scroll there are numerous (myself included) notes where documents were approved, but NO offer received after 6 weeks.

The lack of communication from VW is frustrating, but the FTC repeatedly pointing back to the settlement (which is not being followed) is equally frustrating.

"If you have selected Buyback the final payment to you will depend on the mileage on your vehicle at the time of the appointment. In the event that your mileage is in excess of the expected range on that day, the appointment could be rescheduled."

I am a little concerned about that statement, who are they to determine how far I can drive my vehicle, especially considering I drive 50 miles a day just to go to & from work. Also, I am interested in how long they are taking to pay off the loans as well, as my payment is due the day after my turn in date. I tried to contact VW finance about this and they would not give me a straight answer.

My payment was due a day or two before my appointment, it's now late. I was not told when my loan would be paid off, I guess I was assuming 10 days or less since that is the payoff lenders give you when you call for a payoff amount.

I turned mine in 12/27/2016. Expecting a check to my lender and a check to me. Today I asked VW the question you are asking, after I handed them a Power of Attorney and two sets of keys and a $18,000 car. In return I received a third grader looking piece of paper saying I have been paid (I made them sign a check will be mailed), and the bank will be paid. That's it. On the phone today I was told the bank will receive their payment for the car in 60 days!

It's important to continue to make payments on any loan in your name. The bank will refund overpayments once VW actually makes the transaction complete. I don't believe, however, there is a way to recover accrued interest charges.

Please keep us posted...I am curious to see their progress, or not, on loan payoffs.

What happens if one decides not to accept either option and continue to drive the TDI? Will the state make you take it off the road by refusing inspection? I don't want either deal.

You might not be able to register the vehicle.

Handed back the car yesterday (took lots of photos of it just beforehand). Got a "receipt" emailed from VW almost immediately, saying they "paid" $XXX for the vehicle... BUT it's now been over 24hr and I STILL have not been been contacted about providing my details for EFT (electronic funds transfer), let alone received any money. In other words, I have not been "paid": actually, I have no car and and no timeline for knowing when exactly the funds will reach me. This is appalling. When I buy a car, I am expected to fund it before I can drive it away. Why couldn't I provide my details for EFT before or during the appointment when I handed over the car? Why couldn't the VW rep taking receipt of the car "push the button" to make funds transfer to my account immediately? This ridiculous delay majorly inconveniences me (no car, no funds), but presumably earns VW &/or Chase a bit of interest on the sum I am owed...which aggregated over 0.5millon people must be a sizeable chunk of change in their coffers). Once again, the individual consumer pays a cost, and a company pads its pockets.

So what is the US government going to do to VW when they just load all these cars up on a container ship and say see y'all? Been nice doing business with you. Thanks for signing all your cars over to us, now get to paying those loans off. I've never seen anyone do business this way. It is ludicrous. I can't get a loan, because this one is outstanding for the next 60-90 days. I wasn't able to drive a VW I was paying for because I drove to many miles/day (it's why I don't lease). I'm driving a rusted out diesel truck with 400,000 miles on it (because it was all I had cash for), that leaves me stranded at times (and smelly and greasy. I've lost a wife and family through this. I was literally scraping pennies at times to pay for things like fuel to get to work. Now VW can't hold up their end and just pay for a car their in possession of, so I can get to somewhat of a normal life?

I turned my car in on 12/27/16 as well and as I was reading this I got the EFT email from Chase. I hope you get your as well. If not, call this number:
1-855-267-0428. My understanding is they can re-generate your email and you should have within minutes of them doing it. Good luck to all that have put up with this mess.

Still waiting and waiting and waiting. Anyone had any success getting information or getting a offer letter? Been waiting since 11/9/16 when I got a email stating all documents are in order, what else is there to check? I mean if we were able to accept the goodwill package, and they have VIN #'s that should take care of this. This mega company is stringing us all along, not abiding by court order and treating us all like the criminals when calling the help line to get information from them, so frustrating.

So I turned in my car yesterday and was given the payout amount that will be wired to me. The problem is that the amount they were quoted from vw finance to pay off my loan was from Dec. 2, 2016. From 12/2/12 to yesterday, I had made my dec payment (12/21/16) and it didn't reflect the total amount in the payout. Will I be getting that extra 432 back from my payment in Dec or basically if I accept the wire, I will lose the 432.00. I am tired of this whole thing. Just give me what is owed to me plus my 432 without me feeling that I am being short changed somewhere. I called customer service and all they can say is that they will note it in my real answer. So do I click the accept button on the email and have the chance to not get the full amount owed including the last payment?

The bank will send you a check for the overpayment amount. Contact them as soon as it is paid off.

This was in the settlement!!! Can we still use this?!! "If Settling Defendants fail to initiate offers of the Buyback or the Lease Termination within 15 Days of the Effective Date... unless such time is extended in writing by EPA/CARB, Settling Defendants shall pay the following Stipulated Penalty for each Day the offer is delayed: $10,000 1st through 14th Day $25,000 15th "

I figured I would put some insight on everyone stressor as I was also stressed here is my timeline thus far with no setbacks.
10/20/2016 Submitted initial paperwork
10/31/3016 Paperwork excepted and under review for eligibility
12/23/2016 Eligibility verified buyback letter available
12/27/2016 Uploaded Notarized letter to VW Claims within hours it was excepted and I setup my buyback with the dealer date.
02/06/2017 Buyback Appointment Date.

Again all my paper work was in order and I had no set backs and in all it seems that 77 days for me from start to finish will be my timeline. I do have a lien on my vehicle and all as well so everything took time but they are making progress just not very fast.

Just read a post by someone on a different site...they "completed" their buyback on Dec 17th. Their loan was just paid off today, Dec. 29th. Hope this helps provide somewhat of a payoff timeline..

More info from another site re: loans payoffs:

For those of you looking to still have your loans be paid off after receiving an EFT and dropping your car off, I've spoken with multiple supervisory and manager type people within VW and Chase to confirm some timeframes.

Firstly, Chase only handles the direct to consumer payment, they have no involvement with the actual payoff of the loan itself, that's coming straight from VW.

Secondly, VW will generate the check to mail to your lender within 7-10 business days of your closing date, or the date that you dropped the vehicle off at VW.

Thirdly, the check that is sent out to your lender is going by FedEx, and will typically be a two business day delivery timeline, so plan for that.

Lastly, once your lender has the check in hand, it can take another 1-2 days to process the payoff and close out the account.

If you're looking to skip your last payment, I'd highly advise against it to save your credit, because any overage of a payment made will just be credited back to you by your lender.

Also, here's some important numbers to contact should you have any questions (typically numbers not provided directly to us):
•Chase EFT Delay - 1-855-267-0428 (If you have any type of delay receiving your EFT e-mail after you've dropped off your vehicle, contact this number. They can generate the e-mail for your payment again on the spot and you should receive it within a few minutes.)
•VW Loan Payoff Information - 1-248-754-3906 (If you're concerned about the status of your loan payoff and where the check is, contact this number and be ready to provide your claim number so they can check on the payoff status.)

Thank you for the phone numbers! I am hoping that the Loan Pay off line will help me. I turned in my car last week and the claims hotline told me yesterday it may take 60 - 90 days!!! Not happy! I have to make payments on a car I dont even have!

My Golf TDI was totaled on 12/5/15. As of 12/29/16 VW still hasn't even told me if I qualify for the offer. My paperwork was submited 10/10/16, accepted 11/10/16. How is that even acceptable? 1 full calendar year without a car and still to this day VW won't tell me if I qualify for this offer or not (which I most certainly qualify as a eligible seller).

Has anyone had issues with being over their projected mileage at the buyback appointment? If so, did you select a check or EFT? I just read a post from someone saying they had to reschedule because they were 35 miles over...they did not specify which payment option they had selected.

The website accepted our documents on 11/18 and we are still waiting for them to determine our "eligibility" even though we had been told via the website back in September, after inputting the VIN, that the car was included in the settlement, were given a claim number and were given a buyback figure. We bought another car in early September because we thought this would all be settled quickly. We have tried to contact VW via chat on their website, but keep getting disconnected, and have not been successful in getting someone by phone because call volume is so high. I guess we just wait, and make double car payments. I really wish there was something that could be done to get things moving.

VW Owners, BEWARE! I turned in my 2011 Jetta a week ago, received by compensation quickly HOWEVER, they have not paid my loan off to my lender yet so I followed up by calling the Claims line and they told me that it could take 60 - 90 days for them to pay off my loan. I of course have purchased a new car since I gave them mine and now I have 2 car payments!!! When I turned the car in at the dealership during my appointment, the woman that handled my claim said they would pay it in the next few days. I am not sure if that is what they told her or if she was just not aware but I am very upset and I dont think it is right that they have the car and they have not paid up!!! Meanwhile, to protect my credit I have to make the payments on a car I dont even have anymore!!! It is wrong! I have called legal counsel and the claims department to complain but of course, nothing yet. least you guys aren't in hawaii where we have to ship our car to the tune of $1000-ish to Maui because VW was too cheap to put a representative on any other island. VW deliberately defrauded me and now I have to pay to send my (defective) car back...! Never again. Never own a VW again.

CONVERSATION I JUST HAD WITH VW CHAT:I asked why I had not received an offer letter, to which the rep replied "I do apologize about the inconvenience; however due to the high volume of request we have gone beyond our 20 business day review process. The review process began on 11/1/2016 and the review process contains 2 steps which is 10 business days each. At this time your documents has been validated and you're waiting for your final offer letter to be generated by the offer specialist. The offer letter may be generated within the next couple of weeks."
I then replied by saying that this is a VIOLATION of the court order!
Reps reply: "The judge is aware that we are beyond our timeframe, also you were only provided an estimated timeframe, we cannot provide customer with exacts dates due to the high volume"
My reply: "I'll be filing a claim with the FTC, per their request." I also told them that they appear to have gone rogue, and the law IS being broken.

Is this true? Is the judge, in fact, "aware" of the delays? reps name was Cierra.

THIS IS WORD FOR WORD WHAT MR. COHEN WITH THE FTC SAID IN THE LAST STATUS CONFERENCE CALL WITH JUDGE BREYER, I COPIED AND PASTED FOR YOU: We also are very enthusiastic about the progress that Volkswagen has made to date to effect the settlement. But there have been some bumps in the road and we want the Court to understand that the FTC is working closely with Volkswagen to resolve those issues.


Buyback Appointment on Dec 21, money in account Dec 23 and loan paid off by VW on Dec 30. I should be getting $250 or so back from my lender from overpayment.


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