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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


You can file a complaint with the FTC at

On the complaint site, choose the category Other from the list on the left. On the next screen, choose Automobile from the list on the right.

Continue through the next few screens. Give as much personal information as you wish. When you reach the screen that lets you tell the story in your own words, include the words diesel and VW.

My progress update,

October 11, 2016 submitted documents at VW request

November 4, 2016 VW emailed asked for a new consent form to contact my lender.

November 17, 2016 VW emailed documents complete determining my eligibility (Step 15).

January 16, 2017 VW emailed with my offer letter.

January 20, 2017 I signed notarized and returned offer on portal. January 20, 2017 VW approved the offer and scheduled my appointment for March 7, 2017 (first available).

Little upset I have to wait another month and a half and make 2 more car payments and yes your loan has to be 100% current at your appointment or they will not proceed. So this process basically is going to take 6 months to complete and hopefully will finally come to an end! Hope this helps.

Filed 2x process stuck on steps 13-15

Submitted Docs on 11/27/2016. I have called the support line countless times only to talk to ill informed associates; one of which, yesterday, when I asked where he was, responded: "Philadelphia." I asked: "Oh, how's the weather in Philadelphia today?" He responded: "very nice." Then, I asked: "Really, what's the temperature?" After a short pause, he responded: "it's about 78 degrees and sunny." I don't know who or where these "associates" are, but they're not in the USA. Needless to say, I am just as much in the dark as I was on November 27th. This is simply maddening!!!

Has anyone had their loan through vw credit or any other lender paid off?

yes, took 14 days to reach them. If VW credit they said we are not responsible to pay anymore once we turn cars in.

I submitted this question last week and it was never posted-- Who can we contact about a loan not paid off? I turned my vehicle in two weeks ago and my loan has not been paid off. I just had to make another payment and the loan accrues interest daily.

You can file a complaint with the FTC at

On the complaint site, choose the category Other from the list on the left. On the next screen, choose Automobile from the list on the right.

Continue through the next few screens. Give as much personal information as you wish. When you reach the screen that lets you tell the story in your own words, include the words diesel and VW.

We have faxed our signed offer letter (all 7 pages) twice now (after unsuccessful attempts at uploading) and are still showing 'waiting for fax' on the portal. It has been over a month. Never have been able to stay online long enough to get a human on the phone claim line, and the chat has never connected, even after staying with it all day once! Has anybody actually been paid?

I was paid quickly after I turned in my car... HOWEVER, they still have not paid off my loan. It has been about 2 weeks now, and my payment is overdue. I thought I was FINALLY in the clear, and they are still screwing me over. I feel like this is never going to end! Took over three months for the whole process.

I too have submitted my paperwork and have been waiting since early November but in reading many of these complaints it makes you wonder if the real problem is that VW is not communicating with the VW Diesel owners. It’s obvious that going by their website and the timeline listed for resolution is not being followed. As mention many time in this blog, the website chat and calling number is just a waste a time.
I would suggest that the FTC insure that VW updates the VW Diesel owners on REAL timelines and any expected delays either by email or the website. As noted in the blog many have taken steps to move on from their Diesel cars base on timelines that were establish by VW and the FTC. But as the enormity of the task has overwhelm VW there seem to be a backlog that has left many VW owners in the dark and in financial burden.
That said, never count on or spend what you don’t have in hand. I personally am not mad at VW, they cheated, and they got caught and are paying the price (at least I’m happy with the payout). In the meantime I will continue to drive my Passat and not worry so much about miles and if I get into a wreck. Looking forward to a New updated Tiguan.

Bridget, What do we do if our buyback amount is $4,000 less than it should be? I have figured it over and over, as well as the claim respresentatives, and we all get the same amount, however, offer letter states $4,000 less!! 2015 Audi A3, 49,800 miles. FTC charts say $37,778 - $1860 for miles, Amount should be $35,915 total. I am being offered $31,000!! What recourse do we have? Who do I talk to so I can get the correct?? No one will help me!!!

The VW claim representative you've talked with should have information about who at VW can help you address the issue.

If you can't resolve the issue as you want, please let the FTC know by filing a complaint at The information you provide will go into a database that FTC staff and other law enforcement use for investigations.

I have called twice and talked to 2 different agents yesterday. Neither knows who to talk to about the dollar amount, also neither knew why my claim is setting there on hold! It has been over 3 months now waiting on my offer letter! They say it has been generated for 2 months now and they don't know why it isn't being released! What can I do????? No one can help me! and I have filed a complaint months ago with no response or help. Claim number is xxxxxxxx. How can I get some help?

My buyback documents were "complete" the end of November, after 'illegible' issues and re-sending the docs. Lieff Cabraser attorneys advised me just before Christmas I would be receiving my offer "soon". Continually reached out to VW Counsel to provide my lendor's email address, phone extension, fax number so VW could get my payoff info. Finally received the offer Saturday morning, 1/21. Notarized, scanned & uploaded offer Monday morning. FIRST appointment available for Las Vegas area is March 15 - more than 7 additional weeks of hoping no one wrecks me, hoping there's no catastrophic mechanical issue! When this cheating emission scandal first broke, I was upset but believed VW was trying to be fair in reimbursing owners for the deception. After all the steps, jumping thru hoops, waiting for this process to be organized, agonizing over the continual delays and lack of communication, I've realized the compensation isn't making up for the anxiety and aggravation.

Hi all. I have a 2015 TDI Jetta leased through US BANK. If I purchase the lease from them, will I be eligible for the buyback? Sounds like those aren't going really well from what I've read here.

There you have it. After 2 and a half months of not hearing from Volkswagen at all. I finally receive an email.. and it's still not my offer letter. Now they say I should give my bank consent to release my payoff information. Only problem is, no one has tried to contact my bank for loan payoff. Or at all for that matter. I have already given written and verbal consent. However it would help a lot if they actually tried to acquire it!

I encountered this as well. VW ended up supplying me a fax number, and I had my bank send the information directly.

Thanks a million!! I'm going to see if I can't do the same.

What govt. watchdog is suppose to be policing this process!?!?! I submitted my paperwork on my 2012 Golf the first week in Nov. My portal indicated all my documents were accepted. I heard nothing so called the helpline the first week in Dec. and was told my documents were not readable. I thanked the person, hung up and opened my portal. It was still indicating my documents had been acceptable. I called the helpline the next day and asked how to resubmit my documents. I was told I could do nothing until VW sent me an email and it would be 10 working days (or maybe I read 10 working days?) On Dec. 16 and got a very helpful woman. She actually pulled my file. It seem as though my license had a flash reflection and wasn't readable. So told me to get a piece of paper and dictated exactly what to write on the cover page, and how to label every page and gave me a fax number. She said just as a precaution to scan my license and my title because it was mirror image. I sent the fax Dec. 16 and got an acknowledgement that it had been received. As of today, I have heard nothing from VW and my portal still indicates my documents were accepted. I called the helpline again (every time is a very long hold time!). I was told my license has a flash making it unreadable and one document is mirrored. I explained that I had faxed as requested, a month ago. I have initiated very contact with VW. They. have not contacted me except back in November through my portal stating that all documents were good. My Golf sits in the garage. I am afraid to drive it because I do not want any accidents, dings or anything else that will give them an excuse not to pay me it's worth. Almost three months!!! It is obvious that they are deliberately dragging their feet on the buy back the court ordered. Why is there not a means to legally make them comply with the courts orders?!?!?

Uploaded first docs Oct 13. Docs accepted Nov 4th. TEN WEEKS later(Jan 21) received final offer. Searched for earliest appointment to turn in car at ANY dealer within 125 miles. 1st available appointment 7 weeks away, March 16th. Twenty weeks for this sad mess. ETC complaint worthless. Last vw I will ever own!

I have my offer letter and my appointment is on Saturday. I haven't had the issues with the delays that some people have had, but my concern is that my offer letter says that they will pay my lender (VW Credit) about $6K and pay me about $18K. Sounds great--except my account with VW Credit says I owe about $19K. Any one else have an offer letter that has an incorrect loan pay off amount?


VW has requested proof of my name change in order to determine my eligibility. I wondering if anyone else has done this and if so, what documents did you submit? And is there a specific form to send in conjunction with marriage license, etc.?

Yes, this happened to me. I sent my marriage license, certificate, (in my state it was 2 pages), and both of my State ID's with my maiden name and my married name. I also wrote a dummy-proof cover letter explaining it all. Hope this helps. I'm in the same boat, waiting for them to approve what I sent.

My documents were received and reviewed back on November 21.I still have not received my offer letter. I have had to make over $2000.00 in repairs to my car in the last week when the shifter assembly went out. I am still paying $250.00 a month on my car payment and now I think my alternator is going out. I called 2 weeks ago and the guy that I talked to said that they were running behind due to the holidays but that he could see it processing through the system. WTH? By the time they send my offer letter I will be so far in debt fixing the stupid car just so I can drive it onto the lot that any payout I get won't be worth it. Any advise? Do I just wait it out? Do I call VW every day and bother them? I am so frustrated!!!

All you can call this number for VW Loan Payoff Information - 1-248-754-3906.

Bridget I have a question how is it legal for a company to take your vehicle which you own and own money on and they in turn are not paying off your load in a timely manor. Wasnt there a perimeter put in place for this? I After waiting weeks and weeks to be able to make an appt which was on Jan 17th. I turned in my car VW rep took the keys and I basically walked away with no cash or check in hand. Only the belief that VW was going to pay my loan off. I will not see a dime of the settlement in my own pocket. I have bought 3 TDI's all that fell into the lawsuit. I wont see 1 dime for any of these cars. I was told at the time of car drop off that I would have a wire transfer to my bank paying off the load that I would have a email within 3 day to provide VW with my routing number so they would wire my bank the money to pay off my loan. After my 3 days of waiting for this wire email instruction I never received I called and was gave the run around to call Chase and take up with them. Chase had no idea of this. So after several days of call backs I was told today since my entire settlement which covers the my load a check will be sent to my lender at some point. I have been told wrong information from the start about this. My car is gone and I have a payment due this Friday which I cant pay due to I bought another car. So this effects my credit. How is it legal for a company to take you car with no payment in hand or a system to be set up at that minute to pay your car off at the time of turn in. Has anyone else had this issue? I need to know how long this will take once VW take my car for them to pay off my loan as all the settlement money will go to the load. This is just the most ludicrous thing I have ever seen or even know how this can be a legal way to do business. I need my load paid off NOW. VW has my car.

Turned our car in on 10 Jan and loan is still not paid off. I have another payment due the 29th.


Received my offer letter on Dec 7th.

Took car to VW on Jan 5th (received check for offer amount same day)

Private bank received pay off check from VW on Jan 17th via FedEx

Loan paid off on Jan 24th

It should be noted that I had to send 2 payments since offer letter, therefore amount sent by VW was more than payoff amount. This caused bank to have to take several days longer to pay loan off due to having to approve over payment.

Now, hopefully I get the amount overpaid back to me from my bank in a reasonable amount of time.

Hope this helps those concerned about loan getting payed off. I certainly was getting concerned.

It also occurred to me that for VW to get the title to a given car, they must pay the loan off. This is in their interest, so no doubt it will happen sooner or later. Just terrible that it takes them so long and from what I have read is putting financial constraints on many owners of these cars.

I wanted to give you guys an update since I haven't seen many people doing that. I returned my car for the buyback on January 6th 2017. The check was mailed out on Saturday January 21st and received by my bank on Tuesday January 24th. Today January 25th my car loan was payed off. It took 19 days to have my car payed off from when I returned it on the 6th.

Hmmmm...VW claims they attempted to call my bank on Sunday (1/22) and was unable to connect. Am I the only one shocked?!? What kind of bank am I dealing with...not available on a SUNDAY?!?! (heavy sarcasm intended).

I learned of VWs attempt to reach my bank on Monday (1/23) when I called the claims line. I called again today (1/25) to see if they had success in reaching the bank. The claims rep indicated they wouldn't call back to the bank that quickly, because it was as recently as Sunday when VW tried to reach my bank.

So, am I to understand that calling a bank with little to no opportunity for success of making contact justifies further delay? Maybe next, they'll claim they attempted to reach the bank at 9:00pm and delay further...

I'd prefer if the games would stop, and effective action be taken by VW. My email from VW as of Oct. 29 indicates "Currently, your application contains all of the necessary documentation to determine your eligibility."

Prior to this recent interaction, I have called VW as they claimed to have been Faxing information to my bank. A quick assessment/discussion regading whic fax number they were sending to revealed they were not sending it to the correct number. I subsequently obtained the fax number for my bank to send required information to VW.

I am stuggling to understand if the actions reflect gross incompetence or intentional delays.

I also discovered this week that they are calling the wrong bank for my car.

I got one question for Bridgett Small of FTC....when is the FTC DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS???? Please give us a site where we can find that FTC is doing something, please do your job which you are hired for TO PROTECT THE CONSUMERS!!!!

Hey, I know I am just a little fish in a big car buying seems Audi agrees.

Transcript For [ME] on Audi USA with Chris S
1/25/2017 10:26:54 AM Chris S: Hello! My name is Chris S. How can I help you?
1/25/2017 10:27:08 AM [ME]: I currently own a 2011 Audi A3 TDI subject to the emissions recall. Because of the failure of the VW Group of America to function in a meaningfully way to process my claim, I want to be removed from your customer database in all regards so that the only commuincation from Audi/VW that I recieve is related to my claim. I am running out of patience and view the lack of integrity of the claims process to contaminate the integrity of the brand. I wish this were not the case. I really enjoyed the vehicle, and was hopeful to remain in an Audi after the buyback. I am not saying I won't be an Audi customer in the future. But due to the way this claims process is executing, this A3 may be my last Audi.
1/25/2017 10:29:12 AM Chris S: Thank you for chatting in with us today, [ME]. We regret to learn of your concerns and frustration, and are eager to win back your trust in the Audi brand. I will suppress your customer information from our system so that you do not receive any communications in the future. Please note that you may also need to contact Audi Connect and your local Audi dealership as well, as they send communications to customers as well.
1/25/2017 10:29:44 AM [ME]: I have already reached out to the dealership. Thak you.
1/25/2017 10:30:18 AM Chris S: Happy to assist. If we can be of further assistance, please don't hesitate to chat back in with us. We're available 24/7.
1/25/2017 10:30:30 AM [ME]: Have a good day. Thanks.

We have decided to KEEP our TDI. Went thru the process and submitted our claim. However, they indicated that it was incomplete. I provided all the documents that was requested so I resent the same documents AGAIN. Received our offer BUT, they have my name twice and the co-owner isn't on it. WOW .... I dread having to call them to fix. Dummies.

This blog states that if your car's mileage is more than the expected mileage, the check and payment will be altered and deposited within three business days. On the letter I received from VW, this information was confirmed. When I went to my closing appointment, my mileage was more than expected. VW refused to alter the check or accept the car. Instead we were forced to reschedule our appointment for six weeks and they would not consider any other alternatives we suggested. This situation not only harms my family economically by having an extra car payment and insurance for at least 2 months, but also highlights the dishonestly of VW to provide promised service to customers. In our family, we had three people who only buy VW cars. VW has now lost three lifelong customers due to misleading and inaccurate information.

@mor. UGH!!! They can't do one damned thing right. I do think I read somewhere that if you had extra mileage and had picked the check, they would have to reschedule. That doesn't mean it makes sense. How hard is it to take the charts and figure it out??? All of us seem to be able to do it and they can't? We have the opposite issue. Our appointment is Feb 2nd. The two soonest choices were January 30th and Feb 2nd. I chose Feb because it added one month to the mileage allowance and since our car is parked, it will give us a positive $400 adjustment. I am 1 million percent sure they won't agree somehow. We chose EFT so we are going to sit in that dealership until they get it figured out correctly. It's 3rd grade math with a calculator for goodness sakes. What is so hard for them???

Does anybody know abou VW policy requiring a "pre-approved" Power of Attorney? I recently moved to a big city where I no longer need a car, leaving my Jetta TDI behind with my significant other. He went to the buyback appointment, with all correct documents and a notorized POA from the state's DMV, authorizing him in my place. The dealership wouldn't accept it because I hadn't called and gotten the POA pre-approved with VW. This was 1/25 and the earliest next appointment I can get is mid-march. Meanwhile, the car sits unused, collecting interest, and I continue to make insurance payments.

can anyone tell me, the returned vehicle required to have a current inspection/registration?

My inspection and registration were both expired when I turned my car in.

I notified VW of my vehicle being totaled on 10/5/2106. I supplied every document needed regarding what VW needed and all the insurance and loan information. I still ended up getting a buyback offer letter which I sent back. I have called every week since October 2016. I get the run around. I am being penalized since VW and the courts did not consider cars get into accidents. I am waiting to purchase a new vehicle with the award I am due. why is this so difficult? These should be the easiest. I even supplied the proof of the mileage when the car was totaled by insurance. Not happy!

Turned car in to VW on Jan 5th.

Bank received pay off Jan 17th

After processing loan payed off on Jan 24th.

Finally received my offer letter after my documents were accepted way back on November 12th. Now just waiting for the approval so I can schedule an appointment, although I am now hearing months to get in for an appointment! Then I also hear maybe months before VW pays off your loan and you receive the settlement! How is this legal BRIDGET SMALL?? Do I now have to worry about my credit with the payoff? I do have my loan through Audi financial so maybe that will speed it up?? I will be so glad to be through with this process and VW and Audi!! It's too bad, I loved my VW TDI's and my Audi TDI's, but after this, never again!

I reported the dates for the settlement processing on Jan. 10. I wanted to update how I was able to see my old car loan in Wells Fargo Dealer Services as being processed on Jan 13 and being applied on the 14th. In summary, my settlement closing was on December 29th, and received funds on Jan. 3. The processing could be interpreted as 16 calendar days with major holiday for the TDI loan to be settled.
After the year of anticipation from 11.7.2015 of the scandal, the real tragedy is that you’ll be in a precarious situation to purchase another vehicle. One aspect is the realization that diesel cars are perceived to be offensive road compliance matters that can cause extensive duress in your life. For rural usage or urban hell hold’s in emerging markets in Latin America or for second or third road warrior car for fuel efficiency they can impress. However, for a primary vehicle in a Midwestern NFL suburban market it was an awful mistake. If your employment situation changed during or before the scandal, then you’ll really be in for some headaches in deciding what the next car should be. I sensed that manufacturer dealers didn’t want to sell a new car or even a used car associated with their dealership. For my situation, I had to realize that I’ll have to buy a car for the sole purpose of purchasing another car down the road. It’s like the ‘move’ to make a ‘move’. To make matters worse, I received criticism like I’m getting a ‘free’ car out of the matter.

Good morning, frustrated VW owners!!! correct me if I'm wrong.....they will not ask you for your EFT information after you turn in your car? WHY??? they could ask that way before your appointment so that the money will be ready after you sign the documents......another way to slow down the payment I guess......:(

I think they do not ask because it comes from Chase, not VW. That part for me went smoothly.

Appointments to turn in are 5-6 weeks in Upstate NY FTC? Yet, they (VW) might reschedule your appointment if the mileage is outside the range? I started the paperwork in October! VW delays (rejecting paperwork for incorrect reasoning) has led me here. There should have been a payment to the customer for any delays on a per day basis. Car will not pass inspection so I'm driving without inspection. FTC and VW have failed to execute.

Anyone that have already go the buy back? I got my cash portion in 3 days like they said but my loan Is still not paid off and I am supposed to make another payment on a car that I signed the title over on 1/21? what the heck?

Turned my Beetle TDI in on January 18th... Took about 4 business days to get my money. Loan with VW credit due January 18th. VW has still as of 2.2.2017 made no moves to payoff my loan. I have called twice to VW credit. They told me that I could continue paying on loan until VW pays off. I DON'T think so. They also told me to call the VW TDI hotline. I asked them if they had gotten strong reactions to other customers with that suggestion!!!!!


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