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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

That's good news for you, but I'm not getting my expectations up. My appointment was the 20th of December and money was in my account the next evening, but VW still hasn't paid off the loan. Would be great if I didn't have to make payments on two loans, while accruing interest on a vehicle loan for a vehicle I don't even get the pleasure of driving.

I submitted my paperwork for the claims process on October 12th. As of January 1st, I still haven't received a buyback offer, or a scheduled vehicle turn in date.

My TDI broke down last week, and now I am looking at a $1,300 repair cost for a vehicle that should have been taken back by VW at least a month ago.

To make matters even more frustrating, I have received ZERO communication from Volkswagen regarding the handling of my claim. Like others, I have called the claims hotline over a dozen times, and after waiting on hold for hours at a time, am fed some BS scripted response.

According to the settlement guidelines, VW had ten business days to process my claim, and then a second ten business days to complete the buyback my vehicle.

55 business days (80 calendar days) have since elapsed, and still nothing.

Thanks for nothing.

Ms small,

I uploaded my documents on Nov 14. They were accepted and VW notified me today, Jan 2 that they were complete. They told me they would now determine my eligibility!???? I have received numerous mailings from VW advising me of my eligibility in addition the having received the goodwill package. I paid cash for my car.

I am disabled on a fixed income and my 2011 car is near the mileage limit. VW's continued delays place me in precarious position with respect to the buyback. They are not compliant with the time frames set forth in the court order. What can I do?

I've received my offer letter. What is the last date that I can schedule my buyback at the dealership? I can't find this info anywhere.
I've new tires and battery and still enjoy the car.

Used the chat feature with VW AGAIN only to hear the same garbage. Rep has the nerve to tell me that VW isn't behind on anything and that the "20 business days" I was quoted was only an "estimated time frame." How is this even remotely acceptable? To make matters worse, the rep had an attitude.

My buyback appointment is Jan 5th. I have made one more payment (Dec) since sending the offer letter back to VW. Does anybody know if VW gets the newest payoff prior to the appointment or will I just have to wait for a credit refund from lender? I took the option of receiving a check on buyback day.

I called VW about this exact thing. No, they do not. They pay the amount sent to you in an email for your Appointment Reminder. The "Amount VW Will Pay Your Lender," is set in stone. That's what they pay event if you don't owe that much any more. VW indicated that the Lender will sent you a check for the "over payment."

I will not buy ever again VW. I consider myself lucky that they got cought. On my JETTTA TDI, I have submitted the paperwork on September 12. As of today January 2, 2017 I have not heard from them. I have mailed 3 times and uploaded 2 times all the paperwork. One owner, bought the car outright, no loan. Every two months they are asking to upload the paperwork all over again.. Those are criminals. They are are stalling. They should be hit with another round of lawsuit. I will never will look at VW again. Never.

I own a TDI. as of today no offer was received, despite paperwork was submitted in August. There is no end to this nightmare. the car is a junk. 5 years old car requires $5000 worth of repairs. what? This car was $10,000 more,than similar cars at the time. I chose " THE Quality". That wasn't the case. I am angry, furious. Not only i have overpaid for this car, but it broke down much faster than any vehicles would of in 5 years.

I hope that the FTC and the courts uphold the FINES that are to be imposed for not complying with the court mandated time frames on processing each and every claim!!!!! Between the 2.0 and 3.0 buybacks and FINES that should be imposed....VW still wins...... Mind you if and individual was caught manipulating the emissions and installed the defeat software to get around the EPA they would be prosecuted and thrown in jail. Has any one from VW been prosecuted for their involvement or is it just a slap on the wrist? I have filed complaints with the FTC, VW and even the lawyers that are supposedly on OUR side even received and email from VW explaining the time frame......here is what they sent me The processing time pursuant to the terms of the Court approved Settlement Agreement is 20 business days. This is ten business days to review your document package and, if your document package is complete, ten additional business days to determine your eligibility and create your offer letter. In regards to your claim, your documents have been approved and your claim is in final eligibility review and you should be receiving your final offer letter soon. By their words they are beyond the court mandated time frames

I am read every single post on here and I have not seen ANYONE have the same issue as me, so here goes. I RECEIVED AN OFFER LETTER BY MAIL ON DECEMBER 23RD THAT WAS DATED NOVEMBER 22ND, POSTMARKED DECEMBER 7TH. Here is the HORRIBLE PART: I went to the dealer, had it notarized and faxed in to VW on the 26th. Called to check the status on the 28th and was told THEY ACCIDENTALLY SENT ME AN OFFER AND THAT IT WAS INVALID. I am seriously going to have a nervous breakdown over this. I have no money, 3 kids, a totaled Ford Escape in my driveway with no means to fix it unless I get the money from my buyback. Its sickening what is happening!! My timeline is:
August 13th: created online account
October 18: uploaded all docs
November 18: received email confirmation of docs being received and waiting on an offer

I have called almost every single day since November and heard all sorts of LIES from the people at VW Claims. I am beyond over this. I signed my offer letter and had it notarized, but apparently, they are allowed to deny that it is valid because they mistakingly mailed it to me. HOW IS THIS FAIR? What do it do now???

You can report what happened to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a secure database. Staff carefully monitor the complaints people submit. When appropriate, FTC staff will raise issues identified in consumer complaints with VW, the claims supervisor or the Court.

I filed a complaint and have never heard anything in reply.

Where did you file a complaint? I don't see an address to file a complaint!
Also if the complaints do not have any effect - what has?
Can we as a community being mistreated by an international automobile manufacturer get on 60 minutes?
They hurt us with every day that they delay - it would feel right to apply some pressure through negative PR. Perhaps they wake up then?

Bridget, With all due respect, I have seen your referral to file a claim time and time again, what I am not seeing is all the people who I have read that filed claims already see ANY results...AT ALL. WOULD ANYONE ON THIS FORUM WHO HAS FILED A CLAIM WITH THE FTC AND HAS ACTUALLY BEEN HELPED BY IT, PLEASE POST HERE.

Not me, 3 complaints to date, no reply other than a computer generated "thank you" they are USELESS

I filed two claims and entered the requested key words and got a return email with videos that had nothing to do with my complaint. So my answer is NO!

I filed a complaint and did not ever receive an acknowledgment.
1900 cajero

Bridget, have you seen any positive comments on this blog, every thing I have read here is an expression of the peoples exasperation with this process and the way it is being managed!!!!

How will consumers know if our complaint has been raised? I have communicated twice, to the FTC, that my offer is clearly outside of the court approved timeframe and have included the suggested phrases so that my complaint would be picked up by the folks at the FTC who are monitoring the emails. VW is allowed to post a statement to their website asking the consumers to be patient they have had a large volume of buybacks, which they knew before the court order was entered, and the consumers get NO communication as to when we will receive our offers.

Filed 2 complaints with FTC, 2 complaints with VW Class Council @ 1-800-948-2181. Out of 8 attempts I have spoken to someone at the 844-982-5246 with VW claims 3 times and lied to with a different story every time. Docs submitted and approved since 11/4/16, 11/17/16 received email determining my eligibility at step 15 and nothing since. Today is January 3, 2017. This whole process is a joke, our federal court is a joke for allowing this to proceed on the consumers back! VW knew this process was coming and was completely unprepared. The huge question is, why is this our problem & why is the federal court not up holding this?

I have not been impressed by the way VW has handled the buyback, but I also understood that it may take some time because of the scale. I submitted all my paperwork and required items as soon as they were available back in October. Initially when we were filling out the paperwork it states that we can change our desired settlement at any time up until we turn the car in. Well, when we read this we thought maybe we will keep the car and see how badly the fix affects the car then decide what to do. After a couple of months of careful thought we came to the conclusion that we should just terminate our lease, so I called VW to change my selection. The customer service rep was very helpful and even nice, and told that it was ok and that all I needed to do was when they sent the final payoff quote and contract to select the choice we wanted (lease termination) and that would take care of it. So we notarized our forms and sent them back and they were approved within a couple of days. Well, I noticed online that it said I must wait until a fix is approved and VW will contact me. This is not what we chose so we called VW and asked if there was a problem. The snarky service rep asked some "superiors" and came back to me with one solution... that they will clear my claim and I must start over from the beginning.... so I asked if there was any other way and she said no and that I must submit everything again and wait up to 90 days for a response and approval.

So now, I have my account cleared and am resubmitting all of the paperwork and forms and am responsible for paying up to another 3 months of payments on the car. So since September when this program started I have paid over $1500 in payments and with the extra 90 days will pay at least that much more. My lease termination amount is 4000 so you're telling me that I have to pay for 6 months on a car that I don't want and cant get rid of so I can be reimbursed 1000 (which I will be lucky to get that I am sure with all the added mileage that will pile up in those extra "90" days.

VW is a joke.. they are dragging their feet on so many customers because it means they get that many more monthly payments from VW credit leasers. What a scam.. and there is nothing anyone can do about it. How is this legal?

I received an email from VW confirming my turn in appointment for Jan 5th. In the email there was a breakdown of my buyback amounts. The total was $500 less than the Buyback options I agreed to. The Vehicle value was down and the Restitution was down. The only value that was the same wad the vehicle payoff amount. Has this happened with anyone's else turn in appointment confirmation? I am not over my miles.

I had my appointment on 12/29/2016 and had chosen to receive a check and not an electronic deposit. My car was in great shape with low mileage. I did everything required of me but VW did not have the check. I was told that if I did not complete the turn in I would have to start over with the process. It was also indicated that the check should be available the following day; it wasn't. As of 1/3/2017 I have talked to everyone available for me to talk to and don't have a check or a date when I may get one. I also don't have a car. I requested that my title be returned to me om 12/30 the day after my appointment and was told that it had been mailed off and could not be returned. So I feel as if I have been robbed. I have no car and no payment or promise of one. What recourse do I have and is VW liable for the additional time, stress, and financial costs? VW is not attempting to solve the problem. I filed a complaint with the FTC last week.

Well, don't know if this has been discussed, but it should be. Received offer letter and uploaded for a Emission Fix. Offer was approved and now the portal indicates that I have to wait until an approved modification is received.

Well, the question is "why must the Restitution Payment" be delayed waiting for the Fix?? I called up VW and asked when the Restitution payment will be made. Their response was when the Appt. is set up which could be May 2018 assuming NO FIX is possible at which time only a buyback is possible. Well, VW is then sitting on all that money as well as Hoping that you sell the car or total it or sell it, in which case they don't have to worry about either the buyback or Emission fix. They also hold on to the Restitution Payment until then.

I did not see any information in the offer letter or their web site about this and I think the FTC should look into it.

Call up VW and start asking them questions. I've noted a complaint with them as well as well as the BBB.

my advise, Change your election to buyback, VW will never come up with a viable fix that will leave you with the same car you originally bought. It is a tainted vehicle that will not hold its value. They are dishonest, disreputable and not to be trusted....they prove it every day that this settlement drags on. They sent me an offer 35 working days after my documents were accepted, THE OFFER WAS POST DATED to be within the 10 day time frame. the modification leaves the door open for them to scam you for other work that needs to be done. Just my opinion!!! good luck

Like many others on this board, I have had my documents approved for some time. I have contacted my lended to inquire about any contacts from VW/Audi (none have occured). I described the situation, and to anticipate a call. They subsequently notated in my account that I approved them to proceed with all discussions relevant to the buyback, lien release, etc.It is concerning to me that I am able to quickly and promptly speak to my bank with minimal wait time (<3 minutes), yet VW/Audi has not been able to navigate placing this phone call since the approval of documents before the end of October. The following excerpt from my chat is concerning:
[BEGIN EXCERPT] Tiyana @ 12/6/16 2:35 PM : ==> I have your account pulled up, and it appears that your documents have been accepted and validated. The next step in the process is to send your final offer letter to you. Unfortunately, there has been a delay in processing due to volume. We are trying our best to fulfill the requests, and you should be hearing from us soon.
User @ 12/6/16 2:36 PM : ==> That is aligned with my expectations since early November. I don't mean to come off as rude, but c<br>an you help better define "soon"?
Tiyana @ 12/6/16 2:39 PM : ==> I understand sir, and I apologize that we have now exceeded our expected timeframe. The auditing team were targeting getting offer letters out by the end of November. I do not expect the wait will flow into next year, however, we have not been provided with a new ETA.
User @ 12/6/16 2:40 PM : ==> Ok. Thank you. I understand there is a significant volume of claims; however, I believe the affected population of vehicles was well known and likely understood based on those that took advantage of the "Goodwill Packages" from a year ago. And, the expected timeframe is established in court document. Thank for you time, I had been hoping for something more definitive/concrete.
[END EXCERPT] I can no longer access the online chat because my session will time out before I connect. Presently the expecations of the affected consumer are substantially misaligned with expectations set by the court, and by VW/Audi/Ankara with previously communicated timelines. Yet, despite missing these expecations/deadlines, there has been no update to reset expectations. The inability to reset expectations suggests to me that VW/Audi does not yet understand the magnitude of their challenge, or they are deliberately leaving the consumer in the dark. I would appreciate the FTC acting to cut through the "consultant-speak" excuses, and advocate for the affected consumer. Maybe the FTC is toothless, or unwilling to pressure VW? I have alrealdy filed a complaint with the FTC weeks ago.

I am replying to my own comment. This excerpt is from the updated www. vwcourtsettlement. com website, as it appears that VW did try to reset expectations at some point, yet missed the mark again:

"Please note, however, that due to the current high volume of claims, some consumers are experiencing additional delays of approximately 2-3 weeks in the processing of their claims."

Again, this is continued "consultant speak". Congratulations to those for whom this statement applies. While that statement is true for some, I have waited longer, and remain waiting.

How is it possible that VW is still allowed to do business in the USA? They clearly have no respect for our legal system.

I am ready to schedule my appointment to meet with the Settlement Specialist. After submitting, how long might it be?

Take the check, not the wire transfer.

From what I understand, you will receive the check when they take the car. I took the wire transfer option because they said it would be faster. It's been almost two weeks and I still have not heard from JP Morgan. I opened a ticket with the claims and they still have not resolved the issue. My recommendation, don't turn over your car until they pay for it.

I received my offer letter on december 23rd, sent it back and have not heard anything about it being approved as of yet. Since I live in the lovely state of Virginia who imposes property tax on any vehicles in your possession as of January 1st I will now pay at least $300+ in taxes this year for a car I will hopefully no longer have much longer. Does anyone have any helpful information on property taxes for TDI's that VW should have already bought back but haven't because theyve dragged their feet with the process. My paperwork was in November 1st for the settlement. Waited almost 2 months for my offer letter. Now I will pay extra money because VW couldn't get it together. Not sure this is fair under our legal system. Anyone have anything useful on this topic? Or have the same problem?

I'm in the same situation as most of the people. Waiting...Waiting for the mail letter to get to me since November. I provided all that was asked, got email confirmation that all was ok, but them...
Nothing to this day, January 06th, 2017.

I'm curious as to exactly how long VW can/could stall with my offer before I would have some recourse? Please advise. Thank you.

I would like to know this also, absolutely ridiculous two months have gone by since documents approved and NO OFFER LETTER!!!!!

yep, we're in the same boat, and when you call them, same response over and over again, stating due to the volume of claims they're processing, they can't give you a time frame, or time line.

Id like to know this too. Maybe Bridgette will let us know but I doubt it.
I think they are all in cahoots together.

been waiting for 36 business days to have them finish review of eligibility and send me an offer letter.

Claims phone line is of no help, since they can't tell you anything, and the online chat, when it works, same scenario.

All they do is parrot the boiler plate they were given about delays, and apologize for the inconvenience

No help what so ever

1/5/17 I, along with everyone on here have been getting the run around from VW for way to long. We are all consumers whom are making monthly payments ( I for one now have two car payments and paying insurance on two cars, was told my s/b done 12/16. Have filed 4 complaints with FTC, have been treated like the criminal on the phone when calling VW court number. Why is it us, the consumers that are being treated so badly? Why are the courts afraid to put their foot down and tell them to abide by the court order, get us out of this nightmare. I work at the bank my loan is through and I know that VW has not contacted the bank as of yet requesting a payoff, so when they gave me that excuse I became a little irate, quit lying to us and get the deals done!

Interest should be paid to those owners who have been waiting months for an offer letter.

My buyback was on 12/19 got my check left the car...but they still have not paid off the loan. Can I report my car stolen if they do not pay off my loan in the given time

I turned in my Jetta on 12/22 and have yet to receive the email from Chase to complete EFT, called the consumer hotline, dealer hotline and filed a complaint with the FTC and nobody has reached out to me, so now i have no car and no money to but another one!

I've been sitting at documents approved since November 18th. Told numerous times my documents appear in order by phone and click to chat portal. My credit union does not make note of phone inquiries but I can get through to a live operator in less than 5 minutes generally. I contacted the attorney in San Francisco on Dec 20th and was told to expect an offering two to three weeks. I called/emailed the attorney again on 12/27 since I still had no response VW. The attorney responded today that "per VW counsel as of 12/22 my documents were validated and Ankura has not identified any eligibility concerns. The next step is offer generation and validation. They have a loan, which may be causing a delay." I'm to let her know of any changes or progress on my claim.
I'm obviously well past the 10 plus 10 + 2-3 weeks, filed a complaint with the FTC, and still nothing. If I was to go and trade this car in under normal circumstances the dealer could get a payoff in no time at all. I feel like those of us that are past the court ordered timelines will stay there, VW will just keep processing the newest claims so they appear to be making improvements in their claim processing. I wish the FTC could help those of us in this same situation and enforce an additional penalty to VW for failure to process claims in a timely manner. What other recourse do we have when the timelines have far exceeded the court order?

Latest update. Last VW portal contact was November 17, 2016 Documents approved at step 15. I have called so many times and lied to each time at the claims #. Filed 2 complaints with FTC, 2 complaints with VW Class Council, neither have responded back to my complaints. As of January 3 I called the claims # again and they told me that they have tried to contact my lender 2 times Ally Bank and had no luck?? The 3rd time on January 2 they did reach my lender and supposedly my lender said I was passed due on my payment, MY JANUARY 1, 2017 DUE DATE PAYMENT (I am a federal employee and January 1 was a Sunday so the federal holiday would fall on January 2, 2017! Long story short my car payment was due January 1, 2017 and they called January 2 and my payment had not been made so they would not take a loan payoff from my lender Ally Bank. Been waiting days for the person with my file to call me and nothing...This is BS, I made the payment on the first day after the federal holiday and my loan is current and always has been. VW is taking every measure possible to screw the consumers during this process....I am so angry at VW..

In my opinion this site is simply a portal for people to let off steam. Its obvious that the Court, FTC, and the assigned attorneys have NO influence or say in what VW does. I like others have had my share of non answers from the call center. This is a serious fiasco. LaST communication from VW was on 11/21 "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." Nothing since. We are at VW's mercy as they hope more and more cars are totaled and off the road, have more miles so they can pay back less etc. , I for sure will never own any type of VW car or any of their other brands. Deceitful, arrogant and non law abiding company that has zero respect for its customers, investors, US law, or even their own dealerships. FTC Bridgett I can only assume you are saying you monitor but to what end, I have seen you give no real direction to anyone. You quote from the settlement that VW is in violation of and then you say we can file with your agency but whats the point! Well I have vented again now like I have with the court appointed attorneys but as I stated VW is in the drivers seat and every day they can hold on to that money is more interest in their pockets. TO ADD INSULT TO INJURY WHEN I TRY TO SUBMIT THIS i GET A MESSAGE SAYING THE FTC SITE IS DOWN . GEEZ

Brigette,
As per your advice, I filed a complaint with the FTC and received an email from them this morning, which was just a slap in the face and of ABSOLUTELY NO HELP TO ME.
'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 - http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0209-buying-new-car '
ARE YOU KIDDING ME? My complaint was about how I received an offer letter and VW says THEY MADE A MISTAKE BY SENDING IT TO ME. How is this link that was sent to me of any help?

If you include your email address when you file a complaint, you get an auto-reply related to the category you chose when you filed the complaint. You chose a category related to cars, so you got an auto-reply related to cars.

Your complaint is going to be added to the secure database, and the information will be acessible to law enforcement including FTC staff who are reviewing complaints. Thank you for giving this information to the FTC.

All - I appreciate everyone helping each other and leaving comments so others have an idea what to expect. Here is my timeline:
Oct 11 - submitted claim in online portal with all associated docs required
Nov 4 - Docs accepted by Volkswagen
Dec 2 - Offer letter received
Dec 3 - Returned Signed 7 page offer to VW
Dec 6 - Offer Accepted by VW, made appointment, first available was January 4th
Jan 4 - Turned in Car, Received confirmation email from VW outlining my offer - matched exactly to offer letter
Jan 5 - Received email from Chase Bank to accept EFT transfer
Jan 6 - Money in my bank account this morning!

Here are a few details about my specific situation:
I have a loan outstanding on the VW, but not through VW, rather through my own bank. The bank has not received payoff for my loan yet, but I will be keeping a close eye for it to post as paid in full. I have a 2010 Golf and it had 32,334 miles on it - a lot of life left! But I am THOROUGHLY enjoying driving my 2012 Toyota Venza XLE and will NEVER own another VW. Funny, but this Golf was my first experience with VW...NEVER AGAIN - LESSON LEARNED!
I wish you all luck in your own buyback journey.

Nov 29 all docs accepted.

Jan 5 offer letter received

Jan 6 offer letter accepted

Earliest appointment available near West Palm Beach, FL is 7 weeks out.

At least I now have a date even though I'll make 2 more payments and put on 1200 more miles before I turn it in.

I have zero faith that VW will make the appropriate adjustment to the payoff amount, but I guarantee they will charge me for the miles.

Over two months have passed since my documents were approved. Now VW is asking me for the cars previous registration!? This is crazy! All's I have is my registration and sales contract. Faxed them the contract, hopefully that will suffice

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