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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 waited over 3 weeks with multiple calls regarding the portal not working for me. As I had already started my claim could not start over. Every call was answered with "it will work within 48 hours". Ha, finally started a new claim with a different email. Now, I have faxed twice and uploaded twice the offer letter. The first fax was only 5 pages, didn't realize I needed all 7. Evidently they didn't like my uploaded docs either, was told they couldn't read the barcodes. So, after those two tries have now faxed again. Have not heard a thing and the portal says waiting for fax. Ugh. We bought another car the end of October under the illusion that VW would be buying back immediately and we could not be without a car.

Bridget FTC - Is it apparent to anyone at the FTC that VW is failing to live up to the court requirements. We are all sitting here well past the time frames given to VW to make this happen. Who came up with the 10 days/10 days if no one was going to live up to it. Sad for VW and the FTC

Yes this is a totally unprofessional. One calls and gets someone who barely speaks the Kings English. And then they snicker and laugh just to add insult to injury. Trust me, if you get someone in Auburn Hills, MI , you know what I mean. I hate these criminals more than ever now. so good luck with my "loyalty" moving forward. NEVER AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am in the same boat. Uploaded all the required docs and each time I login to check, it still say "Under Review". Was really hoping that I could use the Nov and Dec payments to put towards a different car, but I see VW is slow walking us all. Real bummer for sure.

I am not really that upset about making more payments. The amount of the buyback isn't really going to change, so the more that I pay the car off, the more cash I will receive at buyback.

You are correct, your payoff will be less, but if your mileage is over the standard, the amount of buyback could change because your car will have more mileage on it, from when you originally sent in your forms.

I was told we would not be penalized for an overage in mileage. Hope it's true.

Point 22 in the Long Form Notice VW sent you says that continuing to drive your car an average of 12,500 miles per year (around 1,000 miles per month) or fewer will not reduce your compensation under the Class Action Settlement.

Additionally to making more payments, means more interest from all people turning in their vehicles. It is in the best interest of VW to keep stringing us all along for as long as possible, because the amount they give us doesn't change, but the interest we pay each month doesn't either. The longer the wait = the more VW banks! Where is the motivation to move VW along? I have yet to see that!

I submitted my claim on 10/6/2016. Since I 3x's received a paper with info re: how to submit. I even have a claim #, yet I have not received any further information nor can I seem to find anything further re:when to expectt settlement. It was to my understanding ALL would receive retribution in addition to our settlement???

It's been three weeks since I submitted the required documents to VW. when I login to the claims site my status is - Document received and under review. Any I idea who I contact to see what's going on?

I called (1.5 hour hold) and VW told me they use a third party to verify the documents and that it takes 4 weeks. From then, they said it could take 10 days to receive an offer. I called the judges office to complain. I submitted my documents on October 10th. Its November 18th.

Bridget Small is just another government talking head. VW paid off the judge to approve this farce and all of the supposed tough lawyers in America ran with their tails between their legs. Working class screwed again.

Dear VW junk, I am a real person working in a federal office building in Washington, DC. I'm part of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection.

The FTC obtained a settlement that provides $10 billion dollars to owners and lessees of certain VW vehicles. It's the largest false advertising case in FTC history. I'm sorry you aren't satisfied with the terms of settlement. If you're a member of the class, you can contact the class action attorneys, whose contact information is provided in the Long Form Notice VW sent you.

I mailed all the documents by USPS, regular mail. I am not rushing VW, but would like to know if Auburn, MI has received my mail. I did talk to a live person after I completed the questionnaire and he agreed that USPS was a good way to return the documents required. I am patient and know it will take time for me to have VW buyback my '12 Jetta TDI. I just want confirmation that they have received and approve my documents. Then the process can continue. I have 61,000 miles on the car, and do not want to go over the estimated limit of 65,000 miles. They estimate I will be paid $21,130 for my sport/wagen. Any help or better information will be greatly appreciated.Jim ,Centreville, VA 20120.

It's not a matter of not being satisfied with VW's settlement. I am sure that it is the fact that VW is in complete violation of the settlement. The company has busted every time line set forth in the case and their only excuse is of the high level of buyback participation. If the company had an estimate of how many were taking this action, agreed to this settlement, and has the money in escrow, why is it that they can bust the contracted time lines without any additional penalty or restitution to the owners who are still held to insuring their vehicles? How is it that there was no clause in the settlement to hold them true and faithful to what was settled. How can you claim this a victory for the FTC when nothing was won. The company hasn't done anything nor has the FTC beyond the original case. THANKS...

@ Bridget Small - as a follow up to my earlier post, my passat has 19,635 miles on it. Once it passes 20,000 miles, I loose $1,000 due to mileage. There is financial gain (albeit reducing the amount they have to pay) by prolonging this process. We as consumers are directly suffering the result. Anything that can be done here?

Bridget I have the same problem. Nj licenses have security to prevent good copies. I submitted my license as a picture got rejected. Sent again rejected. Sent 2 more times as a PDF. both rejected. Sent as a fax yes rejected again. In the mean time my car broke down 1000 miles from home, waterpump leaking. Got fixed at Savannah VW. A week after repair check engine light relit. Still on business trip sitting at Savannah VW as I type this. I submitted my first paperwork the day the Web portal came online. My car should have been returned already. Now I have 2 repair bills 3 hotel nights and 10,000 more miles on car. Who's going to reimburse for all additional expenses because of their ineptness. Called the help line and was on phone over an hour. No help at all. Contacted FTC still waiting for a response.

Bridget the settlement does call for VW to pay interest on delays. When and how do we get that interest from them???

The longer they wait the more miles you put on your car and the less they have to pay you. We are getting screwed a second time,

not only more miles, but they hope you total the car, car breaks down and would cost a fortune to fix it and you decide not to fix it. Both of these things, then they would play less money.

I have submitted all my documents to VW prior to Oct 25. and i still get the same status on the portal. Whatever your saying is not accurate about the two 10 business days. I'm pretty sure i'm no the only one who's been waiting for longer than that.

I am in the same situation as everyone. From reading this blog and all the information I have received, this what what I've
1. The court order states the first step begins on 11/1. So they have 10 business days to provide you some response. I submitted my documents on 10/4. On 10/24 they responded that my application contains all the documentation. So if the court states 11/1 to process, thenot my 10 days have past even if this means business days. I still haven't heard anything. But the next steps is getting the offer. Why are we still waiting if it's going to be 2 10-day time frame. It's getting annoying, interest rates are increasing, and it seems like they are dragging this procedure.

I submittedmy claim online back in october and they told me 20 business days and now its november 21st! They told me to count 20 business day from first of november which doesnt make sense! I just read they actually have 10 business days! I still didnt recieved any papers to get it notarized! I think they need another lawsuit for letting us wait this long when people still need to make car payments on their loan!

If you have submitted your claim, VW is permitted to take 10 business days from November 1, 2016 to say 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.

Hi Bridget, My claim was complete on on November 2nd, containing all the necessary documents according to my email from VW. It is now November 22nd (20 days) and no word. How is VW being held accountable for their continued deception?

The days that are counted are business days.

Bridget, my claim was complete and waiting for eligibility on Nov. 1st. It has been 15 business days and still no movement. Nothing but runaround from all of this.

My Documents were submitted on the 23rd of October and I received a email on 28th stating that my application contains the necessary documents. Since that date nothing. you own a TDI?
Has anyone @FTC filled out the 24 pages? Filed a claim?...or called the settlement center...and waited...waited...and waited...wasting time and money. Are you still driving your car, paying $100 a month insu rance,knowing you will loose your shirt if you get in an accident due to the depreciated value caused by this scandal? If not...i think you should!
Maybe a bit more hired help from the FTC and VW please? If VW had hired 1000 helpers...each would be responsible for 480 claims! No wonder we are all frustrated...and at wits end. This whole deal and process could have been simplified. get this case reopened...and demand VW to conform in a timely manner. I bought my car 4 weeks before the scandal broke. We are stuck paying payments/ insurance on a car i cant sell. Enough is enough! How about some real help? This retribution process is a diaster...

I was notified on the portal that my claim is complete. I have waited 13 business days so far and was advised by VW that they now have up to 20 days. The statement on the portal was just changed and now doesn't give a timeline.

My claim has shown as having all necessary docs for 20+ days now. I heave heard nothing more. This is ridiculous and another case of cheating on the part of VW. Who is here to fight for us consumers?

I uploaded our acceptance document and it closed the portal before I uploaded the notarized letter. So, I called -- they said they would reopen the portal -- I have now called five times -- Then today (6 days later), the supervisor said that every time I call it pushes the wait time three Business days so they will not do anything more -- even though it was just an inquiry. DON'T Call -- makes it even slower. Also, had to make my last loan payment, so now my documents are probably all wrong -- so now, final offer is wrong. Will have to upload title but am afraid to do anything when the portal is finally re-opened. Plus, it will put me back in longer que. THIS IS HORRIBLE business practice. I feel sorry for the claim reps, but VW has put them in a terrible position. They say they have NO Phone number for VW directly. LIES.

Hi Bridget,

TIMELINE -----------------

When you say they "10 business days to review it and confirm that you’re eligible", that is not what we are being told by VW at 1-844-98-CLAIM. I have been told on multiple phone calls that "there is no timeline". And that they have until "December of 2018". There is a HUGE disconnect from the information and timeline you are providing, and what we are being told from their phone support. I uploaded my documents over 7 weeks ago. They last updated my status over 5 weeks ago.

BUY BACK OFFER AMOUNT ------------------

Several people have commented in this thread about receiving offers far lower than originally estimated in court documents. What action do we take if our offer is far lower than originally estimated? Thank you for you time and help getting answers.

You can use the FTC's charts or the charts provided by VW to calculate a buyback amount. If you don't agree with the amount stated in the offer, you can discuss it with VW. You have the option of filing a complaint with the FTC at

Thank you Bridget,

What about the processing timeline?

I called them again today just now (over 8 weeks waiting for offer package) and they still insist that they do not need to follow a 20 day processing time. And that there is "no timeline for receiving an offer package".

Is it true that they do not need to follow any court determined timeline for processing our claims?

My claim was complete and all of my paperwork was accepted on 10/29. I have received no further word from VW and this morning I was told that it could take "longer" than 10 days, but he wouldn't give me any kind of estimate of how long it would take.

We have two TDIs. For our first car (on which we aren't making payments), I received the offer letter within the 10 day period. However, for the second car (on which we are making payments), it has been nearly 20 business days and I have heard nothing from VW.

This is another false and misleading statement by VW. I have heard that no one who is making payments to VW credit has received their offer yet. They cannot force us to keep paying for these cars for months.

Please advise what the FTC will do about this.

got email saying my claim was complete on October 25. Was told should have offer on or before 11/7/16 it is now
11/21/16 and still haven't gotten anything from VW .

The 10 day window for VW to determine my eligibility has long passed (its 18 business days from email stating my claim was complete and 15 business day from Nov 1st) so why have I not heard from them? Who can I contact to get an update? When I call they say they are no longer connecting to people, just a repetitive voice message saying that due to large volumes of claims, things will be delayed. This is beyond ridiculous and as many others have stated VW has forever lost my loyalty/business due to the complete and total disregard for me as the consumer.

I just wanted to let everyone know that when I called the representative said that VW has 20 businesses days to respond - so in their mind they are in compliance if they respond by the 29th. (They also said the clock didn't start ticking until November 1st - according to the agreement. This IS NOT the agreement as stated by Bridget numerous times. There are two 10 day periods. Because VW approved our claim November 3rd they have 10 days to determine eligibility. They are way past the 10 days. This process is very frustrating.

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

When did 10 days turn into 4-6 weeks? I got my document approval on 11/5 after submitting on 10/14. I expected an offer by now (11/28--16 business days). I called today and was told it could be 4-6 weeks. If they are required to have an answer to us in 10 business days, what happens when they don't? They don't seem concerned nor do they have answers, but I am in limbo and cannot get a new car until I sell this back, plus it needs an oil change!

I called today. My documents were approved is now 12/1 and no offer. The representative said I should have my offer any day now. I asked him onc I submit the offer how long does it take for them to accept it. The rep could not provide me with and answer. However he did say once they have the 7 page offer signed, returned, and verified it could take up to 90 days to schedule a buy back appointment. Good luck selling our cars back before summer.

My documents have been accepted and now are waiting review by the auditor. What is the timeframe, as spelled out in the agreement, that VW has to get me my offer? I have heard 10 business days, 20 business days, a month, and even was told as recent as today that they have no idea and are not able to stick the constructs of the time frame set out in the decree.

That process is not happening. I am way beyond those two 10 day periods and no sign of an offer.

I submitted all the docs and received the verification email that VWgoa on 11/10/2016, stating, "your application contains all of the necessary documentation to determine your eligibility." I called today to inquire on the next step. The person stated, "as of 11/22/2016, we have all of the information needed to proceed." However she said they were overwhelmed and would not commit to a response timeline. Forgive me, but I haven't read the actual approved settlement, but aren't the timelines you indicated mandated by the settlement? If so, is there any recourse for consumers should we be put on hold indefinitely?

Not true. I have uploaded my notarized offer letter, which VW acknowledges receiving; however, more than 10 days later, I am still waiting to schedule appointment. Here's VW's exact response:
Thank you for submitting your offer letter. Next, we will review your signed offer letter and release to ensure that you have provided all the necessary information to complete your acceptance of our offer. We will contact you regarding next steps after we have finished reviewing your offer letter and release.

Well Bridget please explain to me why we have not heard anything about our claim since we submitted all of the information requested in October? We are well over 30-days now waiting to hear if we are approved. This is a disservice to us the consumers who purchased their product. I can tell you that I loved the product, however after the disrespect they are showing us as customers it will be very hard for me to place confidence in purchase from them again. I really wanted to replace my Passat with a gasoline version but after this I cannot convince my husband to do so and I don't think I will even try. You all are putting those of us that need to drive two vehicles in a bad spot because we cannot add more miles on from what we reported. Therefore we have to compromise on what and how we get tings done in our daily lives.

We have seen these tactics before and have dealt with this rom a mortgage servicing company who stole money from us and even whe we could prove it they refused to reimburse us. We were finally able to get away from them and months later they started going down the tubes, they lost stock holdings, closed down many locations, etc., I say this to say that the biblical statement is has always and still is very true. "You reap what you sow" What goes around comes around. They would not loje it iif the shoe was on the other foot. We did not ask for them to sell us a bad product, especially one that they knew was bad from the get go. All I am saying is fair is fair make things right "Now". That is all we are asking you all to do.

Bridget - my 20 business day period expired on November 18, 2016. I've been trying to contact support at VW with no response. Each time I speak to a representative, who told me a supervisor would contact me within 72hrs. Well, I've reached out three times...still no response from a supervisor and it's been at least 20 ADDITIONAL business days. The last time I spoke to someone they had the audacity to tell me to stop driving my car! How is this process going to be resolved? I would like some response immediately.

The business day count started on November 1, 2016. By November 18, only 11 business days had passed (when you account for Election Day and Veterans Day.)

A lot of people have had trouble getting phone calls returned, and are frustrated too. You can keep calling, or call earlier or later in the day and try to get a better response.

Did you know that Point 22 in the Long Form Notice VW sent you says that continuing to drive your car an average of 12,500 miles per year (around 1,000 miles per month) or fewer will not reduce your compensation under the Class Action Settlement.


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