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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


Three weeks ago I was told that everything that I sent in was satisfactory and my claim was at the auditor for final approval. Called to day to check on the status and was told they did not receive my financial release form. (I faxed it in). How is it that one 'customer service rep' can see the form but another cannot? I asked to talk to a supervisor and was told she did not have a supervisor. Her solution was to fax it again. Really?!

**Update** Called a week and half ago and was told I would have the final paper work in a "couple of days". Waited over a week before I would call again. Called today and now I'm told that since I paid the car off since the beginning of the process, that I am in the wrong category and will now have to wait 2 weeks for the portal to be "reset" and do step 8 over. Another stall tactic to keep from paying.

Submitted paperwork 11/29/2016

Email of acceptance 12/1/2016

Nothing since

I have question. I have 2015 TDI with 8000 miles. I have the final buyback offer. Is there any reason I can't sit on the offer until summer of 2018 and still get the same amount back. It sounds like if I am less than 12500 miles a year the buyback amount will not change. Anything I am not considering? Thanks!

Do we have any real information as to what is going on?

Here is my current timeline. September 30 - Documents Recieved. November 1 - Documents Accepted and determining eligibility. .....silence.

As of today, January 6, I still have not heard back. I have contacted the help hotline on multiple occasions. Only to be left with no answers whatsoever. I have attempted to contact the Volkswagen company directly through email, phone, and even as far as sending them a Facebook message. Still no response.

It's really very simple. All everyone in this Forum wants is to get this all over with, and Volkswagen is making it as painful as possible. Quite honestly I don't think Volkswagen should have to pay fines to the FTC or whoever else if they don't meet the deadlines. I believe they should have to pay each individual customer those penalties. Then I bet we wouldn't see any 2 month waiting time complaints because they'd hire 10 thousand people to get claims processed then. Bridgett Small, if you could give us some actual information, and not just the generic response, I'm sure it could alleviate a lot of the uproar to this forum. Thank you.

My offer came withing days after I uploaded required info but its 7000.00 less then we anticipated. its not few hundreds its 7000.00?

I can't relate to all the complaints on here. I submitted my claim online and it was a few simple steps that only took a few days between each step. I scheduled my buyback in no time and the appointment lasted less than 5 minutes. I got 4 times what my smashed up car is worth and almost what I paid for it new 5 years ago and almost 100k miles ago. I'm happy as hell.

called vw dec.21,2016 and asked they send me the paper form for final of jan. 8th no respone from vw.i need to fill out that form to finish the vw hotline and you are talking to a call center somewhere other than the us.process is to long and very aggravating.

Our Passat is parked waiting on our appointment. We start it up periodically and put new fuel in it not long ago, put it in garage to stay warmer since the Adblue heater thing defect made the check engine light come on. Wouldn't start this morning. We have the battery charger on it hoping that is it. Appointment is on Feb 2nd. About to lose my mind worrying about all this. I need that car to start and drive 25 miles to the dealership successfully. I cannot afford to fix anything on it as I am making double car and insurance payments. SO OVER THIS STRESS.

November 10th, all documents accepted

January 9th - no offer letter yet

just got off the phone with the claims line - no information available, no time line, no ability to escalate my claim, and as stated, we've had our claim in since november 10th.

Documents accepted November 22, 2016. I haven't heard a thing since then.

I've called or used the online chat a couple times a week since December. I keep getting the same boiler plate responses; "There's a delay with the third party auditor."

Yeah, yeah, whatever...

Submitted my information on Nov 1st and on Nov 28th was told documents were complete(More than 10 business days). Still waiting. This is crazy! It has been more than 10 business days for this as well. I am very close to being over my mileage. I think they are waiting till I go over to buy my vehicle back. How hard is it to take my VIN and see that I am one of the cars involved? 6 weeks today since my documents were registered as complete. Get with it VW!!! The FTC should be helping all of us! NOT VW!!!!!!!!!

My "documents completed status" has been done since November 1st and still no offer letter! Every time I call they tell me another 2-3 weeks. I finally had to purchase another vehicle as my mileage hit the limit for the settlement. I am beyond frustrated! It doesn't appear that they are doing anything in order. There are others that had their documents reviewed in December and have received offer letters, mine was November 1st! Just set and wait! and I can tell you my new car was not an Audi or VW, which is a shame, if this was handled differently I was going to purchase a Tourareg.

Turned in our vehicle finally December 30th. Received ETF the following week. However, am now being told that it will take 90 days for VW to pay VW (we have a loan with VW financial). That's three car payments on a car no longer in my possession. But, the VW agent on the claims line told me it's no big deal because we will be refunded all of those payments. And, how long will that refund take? 90 days? Finally got rid of the car and this nightmare is still not over.

A summary of event of the processing of the settlement.11.7.2015 – Registered for 2.0L TDI emissions issue at http://www. VWDieselInfo. com. Received confirmation email. From the time of the emissions issue I felt I was driving an out of compliance vehicle. For example, the situation where tire tread is below an acceptable level or being suckered into a vehicle with four different tires.

7.28.2016 – Received email about Preliminary Court Approval - VW/Audi US Diesel Emissions Settlements. The email announced the release of website vwcourtsettlement. com. The email indicates a final court approval is pending for the proposed settlement.

8.7.2016 – Received email about ‘court approved notice’ where an online claims portal is established and how you can enter a VIN number to determine eligibility.

8.7.2016 – Received email about completing my profile for Online Claims Portal for proposed Volkswagen Group off America Diesel Emissions Settlement Program.

8.7.2016 – Received confirmation email about preference for buyback plan with VIN and Claim reference number.

9.22.2016 – Received email about submission of documents to online claim’s portal. I used mobile app ' ' to create PDF's.

10.17.2016 – Received email about verification of documents and eligibility requirements.

10.30.2016 – Received email about finalization of court settlement. 'The following information is about settlements with the United States and California (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, California Air Resources Board, California Attorney General); the U.S. Federal Trade Commission; and 2.0-Liter VW/Audi TDI vehicle owners and lessees.'

11.13.2016 – Received email about my offer letter being available in claims portal. Instructions indicate notary public requirement. I used a retail bank to have notarized. I faxed with from home wireline.

12.5.2016 – Received email about offer letter being accepted and how I’ll be able to schedule an appointment with a Settlement Specialist.

12.5.2016 – Received confirmation email of appointment at dealership where I purchased Jetta TDI for 12.29.16.

12.22.16 – Received appointment reminder email. The email summarized offer letter and indicated email from Chase payments will be arriving after the settlement closing.

12.29.16 – The day of closing I received confirmation of the transaction after Settlement Specialist verifies mileage and has me sign power of attorney forms. (closing at 3:30 PM CST).

12.30.16 – Received email at 7:27 PM from donotreplychasepayments@jpmorgan. com to click ‘accept payments.’

12.30.16 – Received email confirming Direct Deposit Acceptance. The message states if you use a Chase account for acceptance before 8:00 PM ET you could expect funds next day and if you use non Chase bank account it will be 2-3 days.

1.3.2016 – I checked my Chase retail banking account and discovered a pending debit from Volkswagen Group of America.

I”ve checked with the Wells Fargo Dealer Services and then have not acknowledged any purchase of my loan. I called VW help desk and they suggested it could take 30-60 days to process.

I purchased 2015 Ford Focus 4D H from Enterprise Car Sales on Jan 4. 2017 and dealer shared concerns about my existing car loan for the 2011 Jetta TDI.

Today I receive a notice from VW saying they needed my 2015 registration. I purchased the car in 2015, and have a clean title. I submitted the current registration and DL, but they said a clean title wasn't enough. If they wanted a complete chain of title they should have asked for it. What are they doing this? Others have not been asked for the same info.

Now business day 39 after docs have been accepted and still waiting for an offer letter

Other ex VW customers who submitted their claims after we did, have already been approved, settled and paid?

And the funny part is, neither the online claims "chat" for the 800 number people can tell you anything. it's a joke

update - was told to day i would receive an offer letter within the week.

Ha Ha Ha - i don't really believe it though.

I am extremely concerned with the reports of VW not paying off the loans on the cars they have bought back. How is this allowed to take 90 days??? How is this any different than when a dealer takes your car in trade, which they are buying from you? If they don't pay the loan off in a timely manner they get sued or put out of business.

I'm concerned as well vwchick! I turned my car in on 12/20/2016 and received the compensation through JP Morgan the next day, but as of todays date, 1/31/2017, VW still has not paid off my loan. I've also made 2 more payments on a car I don't own while accruing interest on that loan. After repeated attempts to use the 'chat' feature on the claims portal, I finally called the hotline and waited on hold to talk to someone who told me the check was mailed to my lender on 12/28/2016. They did in fact mail it to 'someone', but it wasn't my lender. So VW sent out an overnight FedEx with a check to the wrong place! Since then, going back 3 weeks, I've called 3 times. First time I was told my file would be expedited. A week later they tried to tell my my documents hadn't yet been approved, and today I spoke with someone who hemmed and hawed but couldn't tell me anything about the status of my claim because they were just a third party entity! I've also emailed the law office handling the class action to report VW's lack of compliance and have received no response. Today I called the Class Council and left a brief message detailing my complaint along with my claim # and phone number. Although, given the response I've received so far from all agencies involved, I really am not expecting to hear back, but will reply to this if I do. Class Council # is 800-948-2181. Good luck to everyone who's caught up in this class debacle!

So very upset to see how many people are in the same situation. Clearly VW is not going on a first come first serve basis. They are manipulation the applications to suite their needs and serve the easier applications first. Here is my timeline:

First Submitted Docs 10/26
Rcvd Email stating acceptance and review of Docs 11/15

Have called and chated numerous times with no information other than "Keep waiting"

I drive an hour each way to work, am and now in the next mileage bracket which will further reduce my payback. I drive the thing like a ticking time bomb since I had to unplug the EGR valve in order for it to run at all.

They need to be held accountable for this delay, it is unacceptable!!!

You have up to 12,500 miles to play with from the day you made a claim until the closing appointment.

After months of waiting, calling VW numerous times, and emailing the CEO as well as other executives, I received my offer letter yesterday (Jan. 9, 2016)- Completed the forms this afternoon. Now, more waiting. At least the process is moving along. Hag in there, y'all.

Can you share the CEO's contact info with me. I would really appreciate it! :)

this whole process has been very frustrating to say the least. On Nov 3rd, the claims site said all my docs were completed and that I will receive a final offer within 10 business days. Well I'm still waiting! Each week I either call or chat with someone on the claim site and they all tell me the same thing - "You should be receiving your offer any day now". What a joke. I even called the plaintiff's attorneys for the class action suit and they never return my calls. Not surprised, I'm sure they already collected their 300 million, what's in it for them now. And is anyone from this FTC site even paying attention to any of this? The most frustrating part about this is that I know two people who didn't finish submitting their docs until mid November and they've already returned their VW. I don't think they're processing the older claims first, they seem to be doing this backwards.

My documents were approved on October 24, 2016 and here it is January 11, 2017......still nothing..that is roughly 58 business days, not accounting for holidays. There are no answers and keep getting the run around from VW, the FTC, the courts, etc. I'm done! Going to the media. Maybe they can put some pressure on VW to make this right.

Very shortly after I filed a complaint with the FTC. VW contacted me with the offer letter and now I have an appointment tomorrow to take it back. I also have a loan on it. I wonder it this is a coincidence?

Do not believe the complaint filed and getting the offer are tied together. I have filed two complaints and am still waiting. When were your documents submitted?

Finally turned in the vehicle yesterday. We had submitted all docs in August and it took elevating to attorneys to get any action.

Turn in took 10 minutes. All that wait for 10 minutes. Rep said we should have email from Chase within 48 hours...haven't received it yet. She said loan would be paid off "in about two weeks"...which means more interest accrues and pay off amount VW obtained on 26 Dec will not be accurate.

Leaving the dealer, we were greeted by the Sales Manager. Informed him we would not be purchasing a VW. He said he has seen owners who submitted docs well after the settlement was announced getting appointments well ahead of those (like us) who were on top of things and submitted early.

Turned in vehicle on Tuesday, 10 Jan. Received email from Chase today, 12 Jan. Awaiting EFT. Still waiting for loan with my credit union to be paid off.

I returned my 2010 Jetta TDI on Jan 10, 2017. When I filed the paperwork for the buyback, I was told that if I drove less than 65,000 miles, I could get a complete refund. On Jan 10 of 2017, my car's mileage was 62,779 miles, which is significantly lower than 65,000. Still, I was given about 400 dollars less than the amount initially mentioned. I was told that the mileage was too high for the offered amount. I called their customer service several times, but could only reach an answering machine - left messages and hope I will hear back from them. Not sure how they could quote higher mileage as a reason for not providing the money that was initially quoted ....

VWGoA email 11/18 your application contains all of the necessary documents.
VWclaims Chat with Crystal 12/7 due to the high volume of claims some customers are experiencing extended delays which could be 2-3 weeks longer.
VWclaims Chat with Rachel 12/13 due to high request we are trying to get all of our claimants documents validated as soon as possible. You should be receiving your offer letter soon.
VWclaims Chat with Arshaia 1/11 Your claim is with the third party auditor. Unfortunately I do not have a specific time frame of when the letter will be sent out to you because of the delays it has been going past the 2-3 weeks for some claims.

My tentative return date from VWclaims stated 11/1 so I now have two auto payments and my Jetta TDI has been parked for 6 months I continue making the loan payment and insurance payment. My husband worked for Audi he is not surprised at all about the way VW is handling this buyback. We have been lied to from the day we purchased our vehicles should not expect anything other at this point.

..."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 through 30th Day $50,000 31st Day and beyond". Where does this put those of us that have been sitting since early November determining our eligibility at step 15? I personally have filed 2 complaints with the FTC, 2 complaints with the VW Class Council and made numerous calls to the VW Claims number being lied to each time. WHY DON'T WE HAVE OUR OFFERS??? THIS IS A VIOLATION OF A COURT ORDER AND NOTHING IS BEING DONE. The above text is from the court settlement documents...

It is as if no one cares. You hear nothing on the news about this at all. Maybe we need to start calling and emailing the major networks asking them to report on this and not the crap they seem to find important.

I am in the same boat! I have been told over and over from the claim reps that I will get my offer letter any day! Going on 2 1/2 months now! I have filed complaints, called the counsel and am at a loss as to what to do. I had to park my 2015 Audi due to mileage and purchase another vehicle, NOT a VW or AUDI! I would have stayed a loyal customer if this process would have went smoother, so now stuck with a 2015 $40,000 Audi that I can't even drive, it does make a nice yard ornament!

Well said. What is the point of having that language in the court settlement in the first place if there is no way to hold them accountable?!?

I was just told again by a claims rep that they are under no timeframe to make offers and they get 90 days to schedule the appointment after and only after the offer has legally been accepted. My lender provided payoff to the car 2 weeks ago and I still have no offer! It just makes no sense how they can say that they have no timeframe to follow and they are under a court order. I have filed every complaint possible and called the claims line multiple times just to either have a rude rep or a extremely nice one the lies to you to get you off the phone. My process began in 10/11/16 with submitted docs, last contact from VW was 11/17/16 saying all my documents were complete determining my eligibility. This experience has been horrific and the FTC I think just left this for a blog for pissed off VW owners. The are not even commenting on questions asked of them or following up with the complaints submitted weeks ago to them. Sit and spin VW owners, we are at the VW mercy since they were not prepared for everyone to want to dump there cars.

where in the court documents are you finding this? the only fines/penalties i seen are for the EPA/CARB. Fines imposed for big government and nothing for the consumer, and I'm sure they will get there money long before I will. I have contacted my local news media for help because the only stories you hear about on the news are about big government and what they're getting. there's nothing out there about the consumer and whats happening on there end. I encourage others to do the same add some more wood to a fire that's already burning us(the consumer). HOPEFULLY SOMETHING WILL BE DONE if I was to not honor a court order I would have racked up some massive fines and had a warrant out for my arrest and sent to jail without question.

I turned in my Passat yesterday; however, no one will give me a straight answer on if I had to make the lease payment that was technically due today. If I do not have the car, why should I be obligated to make the payment?

I have only read a few comments pertaining to my problem--my loan has not been paid off. I turned my car in on 12/30, received my EFT notice on 1/2 and the money was in my account on 1/4. My payment was due on 1/10 so I checked my VW Credit account and it still hasn't been paid! Checked again today and now it shows I owe 2 payments. I was told at the buyback appointment that as of that day I no longer owned the car so I will not make a payment on something I no longer own! Now they are messing with people's credit rating, which is a bunch of bull. Why is this allowed to happen?

Turned my car in 12/17, about to make my second payment on a car i do not own. Have called VW claims line 4 times and get a different story every time. They can only tell me a check has been cut but do not have a tracking number yet. What does that even mean? How long should it take to mail a check? Not happy. Need to get a replacement car but can't afford two car payments.

No notice on filing.
Filed all my scanned documents on Nov 21 2016
Received notice all my paperwork is received and under review Nov28 2016
Jan 11 2017 have received no more info... Have called and told no dates are given. Web site shows no new info on my vw leased 2015 Passat sel.
My sister filed paper work dec 6 received notice and has a buy back date already in feb. Hers is a purchase 2014 se.
Why is mine being delayed!?! I only assume because they have a supposed fix?

I turned in my car on january 6, 2017. Did not receive EFT email from Chase until Wednesday, January11, 2017. Received EFT from Chase on THursday, Janauary 12, 2017. I bank with BOA. Volkswagen is taking the full allotted time to pay you. My advic eis to take the check at buyback and not the EFT, beacasue of the delay. There were no deductions to my original offer, as my 2014 Passat only had 8,000 miles on it. Good luck everyone!

This is part of the court order, VERY IMPORTANT:

...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 through 30th Day $50,000 31st Day and beyond

Bridget, what say the FTC????? And I don't want a boiler plate response.

Received offer letter Dec. 7th Made payment Dec 15th. Turned car in Jan 5th and received VW check less the payment made after offer letter. Next payment due Jan 16th Seems like VW would have 1st, got latest payoff before day of buyback and 2nd paid loan off right away once they took ownership of car. I now have no car and still making payments on a balance owed of $4500. Not happy to say the least.

UGH, we got our offer mid November, and buyback appointment is not until early Feb so we will have made 3 more payments by then. I was assuming they would rerun the numbers before the appointment but I guess not. Soooooo we will wait like 3 more months to get the extra payments back I guess? And by the sounds of it I will have to keep making payments AFTER they take the car back. Wow, just wow. I had no idea that could even happen, to have to pay on a car you don't own anymore. I foresee more lawsuits from people whose credit is impacted by VW's delay in paying off these loans.

I will report back once they do pay the loan off. Then I will have to work with finance company to get credit check back, which appears as if will be the Dec 16th and Jan 16th payment unless something happens in the next 3 days. In reading some of the other post, it looks like VW could take up to 90 days to pay loan off, so it may even be more. Hope that is in correct. Have no choice though in order to keep my good credit.

Submitted documents 10/4. Docs accepted 11/14. NOTHING but lies since. "I'll have a supervisor call you within 3 days". "You'll have the offer by 12/1" "Definitely by end of December" etc....

I initially chose to modify my vw. Then called to change after encountering horrible service and deceptive tactics at a dealership. I called in Oct 2015 to have the election changed to buyback. No problem the guy on the phone said. It's been changed. Well low and behold that is where the lying started. I received notice that said I had elected to modify, which should have been corrected in oct. This was on Dec 1. I uploaded the one page that showed I elected buy back. Well, 11 business days later, I get you document is not legible. It was clear. I verified it was clear. I called and after multiple waits on hold I got a guy that said you have to send back all 7 pages not just the one page. Why would they need all pages? I faxed all 7 pages multiple times, thinking this would be legible. I called 2 weeks in and all I got was that the were reviewing my information. I called today at 22 business days. They deny having my faxes. I am so angry and tired of dealing with these lying, deceitful crooks. I have requested supervisors multiple times and all I get it they are a meeting. REALLY? LIARS. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM.


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