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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


I too submitted my paperwork on October 12th. Nothing. I've called and the first time I got someone who said they would escalate. Nothing. Now when I call, I just get an automated response. My car has been sitting since October 30th, because I didn't want to renew plates. I have another vehicle. Two car payments. Two insurance payments. Has anyone tried engaging an attorney?

No uploaded documents matter until AFTER October 25, 2016. That's when the days start and ONLY Open business days matter as well.

Uploaded documents early September. Eligibility confirmed in October.
Offer letter received on 12th dec, notarized and uploaded it the same day and accepted on 13th dec. made appointment on 11th jan which was the earliest available.
Payoff amount is less than what was in offer letter
Turned in the car on 11th, was told that VW will get latest payoff amount from the lender. Got email from chase yesterday. Money in my account today morning but guess what it is less two payments we made. Now again should wait for VW to pay off the loan and receive our money. Donno how long its gonna take
Only positive through out the process is the amount in the offer letter was 500$ less than what we initially anticipated but during turn in we received transaction email stating same as the initial amount

I was told TODAY that VW WILL pay the Lender the amount listed on the Final Offer (Amount VW Will Pay Your Lender). You will then receive a check for the amount difference in the Loan Payoff when the Loan is finally paid off. They did not indicate the deadline to payoff the Lender.

Well that sucks. Our next payment is due feb 16th and i really hope it happens by then.

So good news. Loan is paid off today and the credit union deposited overage money in my account. Huh finally done and dusted with this. Can't be happier.

So how long did it take for the loan to be paid off? Ours is now 15 business days since our buyback and still VW can not tell me when it will be paid. I was told they have 5 days to send the pay off amount to VW then they send it to your bank by mail but that part hasn't started yet.

We have completed all documents,and the final offer was accepted, I received notification this morning that I can make my appointment for the buy back now. The first available appointment is In MARCH????? We have already bought a new vehicle to replace this one. So, we are to continue to make payments on this VW, not add any additional miles on this car until March?? This whole thing is complete BS. I am thinking that we rescind the offer letter and file our own lawsuit.

Hi all, perhaps you all can help. I've been on hold with VW for a bit with no answers.

I have elected to do the modification. I submitted all paperwork and all noted to be complete. They said will send the check - still waiting. The last communication was 12/16/16.

Has anyone who elected to do the modification, received their check or will one have to do the modification first?

So confused :-(

Gloria, as I understand you won't get any money until they start the modification, I believe there's 2 steps in the modification depend on what kind of engine you got (eg: Gen-2 or Gen-3)it's in the VW settlement website. Goodluck.

In December I asked my bank to notate my account to allow discussions with VW regarding buyback. At that time my bank represented to me that no calls had been received regarding my account.

Today, I spoke to VW Claims via phone. The VW representative indicated that my bank was contacted last week by VW. I thought this was good news, and I sought to verify this information with my bank.

The representative from my bank indicated that no contacts have been noted on the account since my last communucation with them in December. I called again to VW to articulate the inconsistent information reflected in VWs notes and my banks notes. The VW representative was quick to "correct" the errant information in my claim file.

In this situation, I trust my bank. The quick "correction" from VW does not instill confidence. I am suprised that VW rep didn't defend the integrity of the system notes.

I am so completely frustrated with VW. I have called the claims line 5 times and have been told 5 different things. I am on the second step and keep getting denied because my registration is expired. My car has been registered from September 30, 2013 when I bought the car till September 30, 2016. I have not re-registered it this year because I am not driving it. According to the vwcourtsettlement website the car does not need to be currently registered to be eligible, just needs to be registered sometime before September 18, 2015. I uploaded every registration I have had for the car and my marriage license to show a name change. The people I talk to say they have escalated the claim and to call back after 5 days if nothing has happened. Today they said I need a currently registration despite what the website says. This utterly b.s. I think all the thousands of people having issues with the claim process should get together and sue VW over this. People are being put in financial situations because they have to pay for a car they can't use. The process is taking way too long and again leading to financial strain of the customers. VW is unprepared to handle this situation and is not taking this seriously. They are being negligent.

You actually can use the car, so this should not be putting you into a difficult financial situation unless you have gone ahead and replaced the car. Also, it doesn't have much impact on the buyback amount you will receive unless you put lots of miles on it (in excess of 1,042 per month). If you use the mileage table, it's easy to determine the point at which your buyback amount moves into the next increment (about $600 every 5,000 miles for my 2014 Passat). If the cost to re-register the car is low, it might be worth it. Here in WA state, the cost is about $50.

I was just asked for my previous registration as well. Since I bought my VW in 2014 I got married and moved from NY to VA, and I'm afraid theyre getting confused because the original paperwork is in my maiden name. Did they ask for your marriage license or did you just send it to them? I want to send whatever I need to instead of waiting for them to get around to asking for it. I am also on the offer letter phase, I sent my letter back on December 26th, still have not heard anything.

To bypass this silly issue, submit the bill of sale WITH the registration and it will be accepted.

I have had to reschedule my buyback appointment due to a work trip, losing about 4 weeks. It is very frustrating to me that you cannot find out when the next appointment is without cancelling your existing appointment. You also cannot provide a power of attorney for someone else to do it for you on your existing date without starting the process over again. I have tried to call another local VW dealer to find out what dates they are booking right now, and they are very reluctant to help (just shy of belligerent). The guys at the dealer say it has nothing to do with them, but MAYBE (very reluctantly) the VW rep will call me back and let me know what dates are being booked (but she is really busy, so probably won't but it has nothing to do with us). They don't seem to be very interested in helping in a way that may assist in retaining current VW customers.

My patience has grown very thin. I called regarding my offer letter because its been 30 business days since my documents have been accepted and was told that there is no longer a time frame, which i was told previously was 20 business days. So. i was told that my offer letter will arrive when it arrives, period!. Thought i was getting rid of my jetta so i went ahead and got a car last week. Now stuck with two car payments. VW, you are irresponsible.

I posted my process before so this is an update: Everything went completely smoothly and on the exact schedule or sooner. My Passat is turned in and the next day I received notice the $$$ is posted to my account. I am sorry that some folks are experiencing problems but it's not everyone & I wanted to let other know it's not all bad. I miss my Passat already - my new car gets almost half the best gas mileage but it's a sports car so I expected that, but the reality of having to go to the gas station every week instead of once every few weeks is different. I am not pissed off at VW I am pissed off at the meddling EPA. Apparently they have moved on to their next target - Fiat. Anyway - turn your car in - the EPA has ruined your resale - that is the only reason I did it.

If you owe money on your car VW is not paying off your car. I turned my car in on December 30th and the bank tells me that its not paid off yet.

Diesel Buyback: Another Fraud in the Making

Trying to get acknowledgement that my notariized: 1. Digital upload 2. fax, 3. letter, 3. overnight delivery has been received has been frustrating at best. VW always has an excuse that it's too blurry, or they can't find it - despite my tracking it and USPS saying it's been received. The last conversation I had (after over 2 weeks post receiving it) they told me it seems to be in order except that "maybe the pages are too long" is a blatant delay/intentional stalking tactic of payment by an organization that should no longer be in business. We will soon see another massive lawsuit describing the fraudulent delays VW has conspired against its well meaning customers trying to turn in their diesel cars as per the agreement.

New Fraud in Process

I believe there is a full scale conspiracy in finding ways to delay payment friom faxes that can't be read to overnight letters never received. When I finally got through the VW rep told me all was fine and readable except the pages were to long!!

Finished step 15 on 11/15/16 and still no final offer 2 months later. Where is the FTC AND THE LEGAL SYSTEM.?

Filed for buyback October 8, 2016 Vehicle involved in accident November 27, 2016. Called Settlement Support Team and was advised someone would call in three business days. Didn't happen. Received settlement offer for vehicle buyback. Called Settlement Support Team again December 27, 2016. Was advised settlement portal would be reset within fourteen days and that we would need to upload information about the total loss in order to proceed. Called again January 10, 2017 . . . told that VW does not have a procedure in place to handle vehicles that are a total loss and that our claim would be placed on a "list" with no explanation off what would happen or when. Was then told by supervisor that we are not eligible for any compensation in spite of published information to th contrary, including information on VW's own site. Do we really have any protections? Is VW not being held to the court settlement terms? Do I need to pursue legal remedies outside the court settlement?

I turned in my car on 12/20 and received the compensation amount in my bank account the next evening on 12/21. So far, so good, right? Well, I've checked my loan account daily since then. 17 business days to be exact. I called my bank several times to find out if a check or EFT was in que to payoff the loan, but was told "no". This morning I called the TDI claims hotline and was told my payoff amount was delivered on 12/28/2016. Called my bank again to verify, gave them the tracking number and was told they have no offices in Monterey, California. So VW sent my payoff check, via overnight FedEX, to the wrong address! How much worse could this debacle become?

I've called the TDI Claims Hotline 3 times since submitting this January 14 comment and each time I've received a different response why my loan has not been paid off. As of this morning, I've been assured an 'expedited' claim for the second time in as many weeks. In the meantime, in an effort to maintain my credit rating, I have made 2 more payments on a vehicle I no longer own. In addition, and more importantly, because of this outstanding loan balance, I'm unable to purchase another car. Not as importantly, interest is still compounding on this loan. VW will never again see my money or money from any family member or friend whom I have had the opportunity to inform of VW's treatment to a loyal customer of nearly 40 years.

I submitted my paperwork mid October,. Received confirmation of acceptance November 4, since then I have called half a dozen times, was first told it should be any day, then, 23 are overwhelmed and are trying to process in 90 days, then told, we have no recommended timeframe. As a reminder, the timeline given between document acceptance and an offer being sent was 20 business days. It has currently been 46 business days. VW knew this was coming, knew approximately how many had submitted paperwork and have utterly failed to meet the court deadlines. I have registered complaints with the FTC. I hope they are held accountable. I put higher than 1200 miles a month on my car, so the longer they delay, the more I watch my settlement amount melt away. Shame on you you greedy, lying, cheating company.

Turned in my leased bug on Friday with no issues. Vehicle had some minor dings and scratches in it but nothing was said. Check was ready at the appointment and was for the amount in the offer. We were at the dealership for 10 minutes. The turn in inspection consisted of them starting it and moving it, then they took 6 photos.

After 40 business days, finally received offer letter and we have a buyback appointment scheduled on February 22 (earliest available within 50 miles)

10/3/2016 - All documents (registration, registered owner drivers license, and 2nd registered owner drivers license faxed to VW Settlement. VW claims they were never received.

12/06/2016 - re-sent both drivers' license documents. Received by VW and scanned as one document, leaving one other document as not received.

12/8/2016 - Resent vehicle registration.

01/3/2017 - Resent 2nd registered owner license.

01/4/2017 - received email notification the all documents have been received and would be reviewed.

01/16/2017 - received email notification that the there is a problem with 2 documents. Called VWSettlement customer service - spoke with Denny. Denny stated that the drivers license copies are too dark to read. Obtained mailing address for P.O. Box. Copies will be mailed over-night, insured, return receipt requested on 01/1/2017. Told by Denny that it will probable take 20 business days (=1 more month) to get these processed and a determination will be made on whether we're eligible or not.

We are eligible and have been making vehicle payments and insurance payments on a vehicle that has been parked since October 2016. We were told by a VW dealer that everything should be "all set" by December 1, 2016. If we're lucky, this nightmare might actually be finished by the end of February, 2017, but I won't be holding my breath. Is there any recourse for this type of situation?

2 TDIs here...
Received offer on one a couple of days ago. Sent in signed/notarized paperwork and within 30 minutes was allowed to schedule appointment.

Other TDI: no offer yet; VW called for payoff and couldn't speak to a customer rep at that time (guess all were busy) but they left no message or fax so bank rep could return the call; this has been days ago and VW Rep said that VW will eventually call my bank back; WHAT? They can't leave a message so my bank could return the call and now it's just in another stack again for who knows when?? Ridiculous

Anyone know the legal rules regarding having to pay taxes on the cash you receive from VW?

Just got paid from VW.

Turned my 2014 Beetle in on Jan 11th. Took all of 10 minutes. The car wasn't even looked at. Receive my deposit to my Chase account on Sat the 14th. My Loan hasn't been paid off yet and that makes me nervous. I bought a nice 2016 Kia Soul, Never again will I buy a VW...such a major screwup on their sad

In the paperwork I got, it said that if your car was under the mileage of 1042 miles a month. You would get paid extra and if you were over you would get less. I was almost 5000 miles under the allowed mileage and didn't get any more back. What is the deal here? Did anyone get paid extra for their mileage?  Have I been ripped off again?

I am wondering the same thing. We should be getting a positive adjustment to our offer because of mileage. Did you say anything while you were at the appointment? I am anticipating the same issue and plan to argue my point but I think that they think that A. We are too dumb to figure out the charts B. We are so desperate to end the misery that we will just take what they give us. I am guessing if we refuse the amount at the appointment bc it is wrong, they will tell you that you are back at square one. UGGHHHHHHH.

There is an attachment to the consent decree that spells out the mileage deduction. Attachment 2A-C break it down by model so find your model type, take 1042 times the number of months from September 2015 to when you turned your car in. Subtract that figure from your mileage when you turned your car in and then find that figure on the appropriate chart. The mileage range is broken down by 5,000 increments causing you to qualify for the lesser amount. Not sure how many people are aware of this part of the settlement. My brother is also has a VW diesel was not so I had to show it to him. I hope this helps.

@bluejetta, yes the charts are there to figure it all out, but VW is not aware when people stop driving their vehicles and adding mileage. We will have had ours parked for 8 months by the time we turn it in, and according to my calculations based on the mileage charts, we should get a positive adjustment of about $700. Since we asked for the EFT, shouldn't they be refiguring the amounts based on the actual mileage when it is turned in, not only for deducting from your settlement, but to add to it?

Does anyone know how to get a portal unlocked? I accidently uploaded the wrong title which was my sons VW. Now 8 calls later and 2 months later still with a portal locked. Have been lied too about the portal being unlocked. I faxed in the correct title 8 times and nothing! I will never buy a VW again.

You can't get it unlocked until they review the current document and send you an email back saying it is incorrect! This happened to me, so I just entered another claim with a different email address to file another claim with the right documents. My documents were approved on November 12th and STILL no offer letter sent to me! I went ahead and bought a Range Rover. I have the 2015 Audi TDI and it is now parked, so paying 2 payments and 2 insurance premiums because they told me I would have an offer letter over a month ago! Never a VW or Audi again!!

I have finally got to the appointment step. After rejecting my documents three times for absolutely no reason other than their incompetence, they accepted the same documents with the intervention of the plaintiffs lawyer. From October to January I was given the run around. One week after the attorney stepped in, I've got the offer letter, notarized it, uploaded and one hour later got the email for appointment. Scheduled the appointment for Feb 7th. I have requested the check option, because I want a copy of it as proof for a future media piece about this buyback journey. I will post again when done, assuming Mrs. B.S. will not censor (again) my post.

Car bought back Jan. 5th. As of today Jan 18th the loan has not been paid off. I have already made 2 payments since the offer letter amount I received. I am beginning to wonder if they are going to pay the loan off.

Turned vehicle in on 10 Jan; Received EFT on 13 Jan. Loan not yet paid off. Had to make another payment to protect my credit on a car I do NOT own. Furious! I can cancel my extended warranty but not until I have proof of loan pay off, so VW is costing me more money!!!

I have a question, was your loan with VW credit or a third party lender... I just sold back my 2013 Beetle TDI convertible yesterday with a very small loan balance yesterday. I didn't think about having to worry about Volkswagen dragging their feet on payoff's as well... I would think that they would be legally required to payoff in a timely manner!!! They are going to lose so many customers over this!!! I am done with them - stick a fork in me!!!

Not VW credit...Credit Union.

In regards to Babywhites question, I would also like to know if we are expected to pay taxes on the money that VW will be depositing into our bank accounts, even though that money will go right back out to buy our replacement cars.

Bridget, do you know about any legal responsibility we have as far as having to pay taxes on these buybacks, or is this looked at differently since we aren't really selling the cars for re-sale, it's a court settlement.

You could ask a lawyer or tax professional about that.

Angry Jetta, You may have to pay taxes on the settlement portion, which is the restitution amount. Tax laws on settlements vary state to state so you really do need to ask an accountant. Hopefully you live in a state where you don't!

Just got off the chat with VW Claims. My documents were accepted Nov 7. Still no offer letter. Now I was told today that it could still be another 2-3 months before I receive an offer letter! This is unacceptable! I have already had to park my car due to miles and buy another one (not a VW or Audi!). How can they do this to us Bridget!!?? Why is nothing being done to move this along! My credit will be ruined and I am so stressed out it is affecting my health now! Lie after lie from the claims folks. My feedback went from, "you will get it in 72 hours" to "it may be another 2-3 months". Do these people know that what they say is driving important life decisions regarding credit!! I am just sick! Do something FTC!!!!!

This has got to be the most disorganized, unsupported event ever. My paperwork was processed in early December for a lease buyback on my Jetta TDI. BUT my lease ended September 2016. VW Credit says should not be an issue to convert to a buyback. VW Claims says no can do. I have been having conversations with both for 5 weeks with NO resolution. NO VW dealer will help. No one from either company VW Credit or VW Claims will help. YET, I am still making lease payments. WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS? I need to get rid of my Jetta TDI and this lease. Please advise!!! Do I need a lawyer? No one will help me!!!

What recourse do we have when VW has not paid off our loan? The vehicle has been out of my possession for nearly two weeks yet VW has not reached out to my loan holder to pay it off. This is unacceptable!


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