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VW buybacks and lease terminations to begin

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Earlier this year, the FTC sued Volkswagen for falsely claiming that its diesel cars had low levels of harmful emissions. A federal judge approved the FTC order that requires Volkswagen to provide up to $10 billion to owners and lessees of VW and Audi 2.0 liter diesel cars. Here are some pointers for people who own or lease a 2009 to 2015 VW TDI Beetle, Golf, Jetta, Passat or Audi TDI A3.

  • You have until September 1, 2018 to submit a claim. You can change your mind about which option you want until you bring your car in to VW.
  • You can submit a claim on VWCourtSettlement.com, or call 1-844-98-CLAIM to request a paper claim form. In order to complete your claim, you will need certain documents, including the vehicle title and proof of registration.
  • After you submit your claim, VW has 10 business days to tell you whether your claim is complete. If your claim isn’t complete, VW will tell you what you need to do to complete it.
  • After your claim is complete, VW has 10 business days to review it and confirm that you’re eligible.
  • After you have been confirmed to be eligible, VW will send you an offer letter. If you accept VW’s offer, you will sign the letter, get it notarized and return it to VW. After VW confirms that it received your letter, you can schedule an appointment. You will be able to choose from different options. If you choose:
    • buyback, you will be able to schedule an appointment that happens within the next 90 days.
    • lease termination, you will be able to schedule an appointment that happens within the next 45 days.
    • an approved emissions modification, VW will notify you when a modification is available for your vehicle. Once a modification is available, you will be able to schedule an appointment within 90 days.
  • If your car was drivable on September 16, 2016, but isn’t drivable on the day of your buyback or approved emissions modification appointment, you’re still eligible for some compensation. Visit VWCourtSettlement.com or call VW at 1-844-98-CLAIM for more information.
  • You can choose to get your buyback or lease termination payment by check at your appointment, or have it deposited electronically to your bank account within three banking days. If you have a car loan, VW will apply your buyback payment to the loan and pay you any remaining amount. If, at your buyback appointment, your car’s mileage is more than the expected mileage range from when you submitted your claim, your buyback amount could be reduced. If that happens, you will get a check within three banking days.
  • When your buyback or approved emissions modification is complete, VW will give you an itemized receipt that shows the amount you received and explains any adjustment, such as mileage or a loan payment.

You can use the buyback money however you want. You don’t have to spend it on a car from VW or any other manufacturer. If anyone offers to buy your car outside the settlement, or pressures you to “Act now!”, walk away. If you see something that doesn’t seem to follow the terms of the settlement, please report it to the FTC.

Note: We edited this post on October 26, 2016 to clarify which payments you may get by check at your appointment. On November 17, 2016 we added information about offer letters and clarified appointment scheduling.

Tagged with: car, refunds, settlement
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

If you have a question about your loan with VW credit, you can contact them directly.

Why is a company that is supposed to be buying back hundreds of thousands of polluting vehicles not providing a working phone. I have been calling 1-844-98-CLAIM for days. Call is forwarded and dead air. Is this even legal? Their site has no way of contacting them via email, or comment. What gives ftc....can't this be fixed. At this rate we will be waiting for a year to turn in these vehicles. The messed up thing is I have a simple question which should be easy to do on the website. I made a mistake with a document and need to re-submit one and cannot. Nothing in the FAQ....this is going to be one big cluster.

The FTC Consent Order requires Volkswagen’s website to provide an easy-to-use mechanism to submit documents, and for Volkswagen’s representatives to promptly answer calls to the toll-free number seven days a week from 7:00 am to 11:00 pm eastern time. 

The FTC is actively monitoring Volkswagen’s compliance with these requirements, and taking appropriate action if Volkswagen fails to meet its obligations.  The FTC is also carefully monitoring consumer complaints submitted to FTC.gov/complaint.

I waited on hold for 7 hours and 8 mins to ask a question the other day and hung up when it hit closing time for them. Not promptly answering calls for sure.

I stayed on hold for several hours myself, after closing. Since I was already in the call que they did take my call eventually even though I was a good 45 min past the closing time. When I tried calling in from a different phone after closing time I got a message that they were closed so I kept holding on my original line. Too late for you now, but next time....

It's November 19th, 8:23 AM Pacific Coast Time. I just attempted to call the toll-free number and after a number of prompts the line went silent for approximately one (1) hour!!!!!! Doesn't appear to be in conformance with the Consent Order, or your comments. Suggest "actively monitoring" be changed to "actively enforcing" as we have already waited long enough IMO.

If the FTC is as you have stated is actively monitoring Volkswagen’s compliance with their requirements, and are to take appropriate action if Volkswagen fails to meet its obligations, which includes that Volkswagen’s provides a website with an easy-to-use mechanism to submit documents, and for Volkswagen’s representatives to promptly answer calls to the toll-free number seven days a week from 7:00 am to 11:00 pm eastern time, THEN WHY HAS THE FTC NOT TAKEN ACTION. IS IT NOT CLEAR TO YOU & THE FTC AFTER READING ALL THE COMPLAINTS FROM VOLKSWAGEN OWNERS ABOUT THEIR FRUSTRATION THAT VOLKSWAGEN IS NOT IN COMPLIANCE. THERE WEBSITE IS NOT EASY TO USE. WE ARE UNABLE TO GET IN CONTACT WITH THEM BY PHONE. WE DO NOT HAVE ALL DAY TO WAIT AROUND ON HOLD. WE HAVE SUBMITTED PAPERWORK TWICE. LIKE OTHERS SAID, THEY KNOW WE ARE ELIGIBLE ALREADY. WE ARE BEING FORCED TO DRIVE THESE CARS & CONTINUE NOT ONLY TO PAY THE INSURANCE PREMIUMS, BUT ARE LOSING MONEY FROM THE ADDED MILEAGE & RISKING GETTING INTO A WRECK & THE INSURANCE COMPANY TOTALING THE VEHICLE DUE TO ITS DECREASED VALUE. SURE READY FOR THEM TO SAY NUT TO DRIVER THENM. THAT'S WHAT WE BOUGHT THEM FOR. MOST OF ITS USE THEM FOR WORK TRANSPORTATION. AND LAST BY NOT LEAST CONTINUING TO POLLUTE OUR ENVIRONMENT AT EVERYONE'S EXPENSE EXCEPT VOLKSWAGEN. HOWEVER THEY WILL PAY NOW BECAUSE CONSUMERS ARE FRUSTRATED AND ANGRY AND SAYING THEY WILL NOT BUY FROM THEM AGAIN. I WON'T SOLELY ON THE POLLUTION TO OUR ENVIRONMENT AND THEIR LIES. Hello....Wake up FTC and do your job!

Still waiting for VW to approve my signed and notarized documents so I can make an appointment to turn in my 2010 Jetta. I call VW every week and get no answer other than "you just have to wait". That does not work so I have been filing complaints on the FTC website. That does not seem to work either. I just want this to end.

At least you have an offer .

I have not other option but to add more miles to my car. I have nothing else to drive and spend several hours on the road everyday. My mileage is increasing daily. I estimated my mileage as of Nov.1. Now that it may be 90 more days before I can turn it in, I am going to get dinged on my settlement. This entire process is crap.

It really stinks that as patient as we the screwed customers are being, we will be dinged financially for driving these vehicles and adding more mileage. Not fair VW, not fair at all.

I don't even understand why mileage is a factor. It's not like they're buying the cars back to resell... it's my understanding that they're just going to junk them. At the very least they should use the mileage from September 2015 so that we're not penalized for using the car while we wait for all these approvals.

According to the Mileage Deduction chart, they are allowing 1000 miles per month for every month after September 2015. It says to determine your adjusted mileage, take your exact mileage and deduct just over 1000 per month for each month since 9/15. That is the adjusted mileage they are using for the deduction. So if that chart is accurate, you should only be dinged if you misrepresented your mileage in your initial claim, or you drive more than 1000 miles per month.

For the buy back, the car must be drivable, how drivable? I hate to spend a few thousand dollars on a car that will be scrapped.

The FTC Approved Consent Order defines what it means for an eligible vehicle to be "operable." (We used the word "driveable" in the blog, but the court documents use "operable.")

You can find the FTC Approved Consent Order at VWcourtsettlement.com in the Court Documents, Forms & Notices section.

when did the review periods go from 10 dates to 20..

I have heard nearly nothing directly from Volkswagen on this, either before or after the settlement finality, I have been finding information on my own for registration and follow up. They could at least send an email to keep owners informed. My issue is, I live in New Mexico. I bought this car new in California in Jan 2013. When I registered for the buyback, the website stated me a turn-in date of Nov 1, under 55,000 miles for $22,200 or so. Now after checking the charts from the FTC after the settlement, that number has dropped to $20,200 or so based upon standard transmission, region and the under 55,000 mileage. The original number cannot be accessed because it will not let me go back to the beginning, but I had checked it twice. Why did they set people's expectations based upon a date that cannot occur and rosy payout numbers that aren't panning out for everyone. May car has 54,950 miles on it now based upon the November 1 turn-in, so it is essentially un-drivable now or I lose another $600 in mileage deduction, yet I still continue to pay for insurance. Also, as previously noted, I moved to New Mexico from California in February 2016 and was issued a new title dated Feb 2016, that title was in error because it listed the engine as gasoline, so a corrected titled was issued in June 2016. On the phone to the claims registration site, they told me that they might offer me a payment me based upon it being bought after September 2015 because of the date on the newest title. I have the original bill of sale from January 2013, but there is no way to upload it and they will not accept it at this point. Also, when does the 10 days start for the offer, as I stated I have heard nothing from Volkswagen since registering and the chat function on the claim website has been disabled.

Although VW  accepted your documents before October 25, VW is permitted to take 10 business days from November 1 to say whether your claim is complete.

And, after your claim is complete, VW is permitted to take 10 business days to confirm whether you’re eligible.

Were did this November 1 come from?? FTC has never said the 10 days starts from November 1, it has always been from the date that the court approved the settlement.....I can see why VW customers are getting very upset with VW and with the monitoring of this process...

The confusion about dates has nothing to do with VW. It's because I mis-calculated.

The Court approved the settlement on October 25. However, the settlement allows VW five business days from the date the Court enters the order to make relief available to consumers. Those five business days end on November 1.

VW is permitted to take 10 business days from November 1 to say whether your claim is complete. And, after your claim is complete, VW is permitted to take 10 business days to confirm whether you’re eligible.

Bridget,

The November 1 reasoning does not make sense.

The Effective Date is October 25 - that's the approval date. Def. M.

The only "5 days" I see are about notice. Those are in the Notice (IV) section.

The Claims processing Section (XIII) keys everything off the "Effective Date." (E.g., XIII.B, C, require the website and hotline to be open on the Effective Date.).

There is nothing under Claims Processing about 5 days, or November 1, or any other period that can get tacked on to the Effective Date. There is nothing about a notice period before claims processing begins. If this were a statute, we'd say construed in context the Claims Processing provisions all begin immediately upon the Effective Date.

If the answer is that someone forgot to say "Effective Date + 5" under claims processing, then it's ironic that a pro-consumer agency is blaming the consumer for misunderstanding someone else's error.

I've relied on that interpretation when making decisions about buying my replacement vehicle.

If November 1 wasn't invented after the fact, then please explain why the above analysis is wrong.

Thanks.

Bridget;

My documents were approved on 11/10/16 and have been waiting since then to here if I am eligible. You have repeatedly stated 10 days to approve documents and 10 days to determine if you are eligible. I have been waiting 18 business days. What recourse do VW owners have when VW violate the court order? If the FTC, who is suppose to be monitoring VW, is not holding them accountable. I work in law enforcement in CA and am going to contact the district attorney's office in SF. This appears to be the only possible way to let the judge know the court orders ar not being followed...

Yes, under the FTC Order, VW has 10 business days to notify you if you're eligible for the remedy you chose (buyback or lease termination).  The Order defines November 23, 24 and 25 as holidays when the toll free number doesn't need to operate; I don't know how or if that affects the claims processing deadlines.

Have you communicated with VW while they've been reviewing your eligibility? Several commenters found out there were glitches in their file when they contacted VW.

You can file a complaint with the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint.  On the first screen, choose the category Other. On the next screen, choose the category Automobile. Give as much personal information as you want. When you get to the text box that lets you tell the story in your own words, include the words diesel and VW.

Thanks for your reply, but it doesn't address the remainder of my concerns, particularly that the tables indicate a much lower payout than was promised when I first registered last summer.

Can you please reply to TDIMan's question re: is FTC monitoring VW's staffing/performance?

- 2 to 3+ hours wait times when calling in

- now have call-back service but it's not worked twice for me...it called me back but when I answered said "the system is shutting down for maintenance and will call you back later"

- per VWCourtSettlement site they is suppossed to be chat but that is nowhere to be found...

The FTC Consent Order requires Volkswagen’s website to provide an easy-to-use mechanism to submit documents, and for Volkswagen’s representatives to promptly answer calls to the toll-free number seven days a week from 7:00 am to 11:00 pm eastern time. 

The FTC is actively monitoring Volkswagen’s compliance with these requirements, and taking appropriate action if Volkswagen fails to meet its obligations.  The FTC is also carefully monitoring consumer complaints submitted to FTC.gov/complaint.

That does not answer the question. what is the FTC doing to monitor other then giving a canned response. Some people such as my self cannot afford to replace our cars until VW buys it back but we cannot drive our car because of the miles. Someone needs to make sure that VW is doing there job and processing claims as quickly as possible. I've been waiting forever for my documents to be reviewed.

I forgot to mention on my previous comment that it is in NY

Am I correct assuming if your TDI was in an accident and it gets totaled you lose the settlement amount and only get what your insurance will pay you. Therefore you could be taking a $10,000 to $13,000 risk every day you drive your TDI.

Please go to vwcourtsettlement.com and read the frequently asked questions. There is information about vehicle condition and eligibility. The FTC's Approved Consent Order, available under Court Documents, Forms & Notices on vwcourtsettlement.com, has more details.

Does the modification option 2 delay the compensation process ? I was reading that we are only paid when the modification is done which could be a while ,,, I thought we can opt out take option 2 and then get it fixed when available .. Anyone ?

I was finally able to reach someone at the VW hotline. They said we will not get paid until our fix is approved. Yes, that means we could be waiting years for the settlement and that's only if they can find a fix. If not, we get bought back at a dramatic loss.

I decided on the buyback and now have changed my mind. Called the VW number and there is no option to talk to an individual to indicate my change. What should I do?

You can change your mind about which option you want until you bring your car in to VW. Although VW may have accepted your documents before October 25, VW is permitted to take 10 business days from November 1 to say whether your claim is complete. When VW contacts you to say whether your claim is complete, talk to them about the option you choose.

I have yet to be able to get through to VW using the provided phone number. All I want to find out is how to update/change information in my claim documentation?

If you can't change it online then it's probably not something you can change. I was told by a claims rep to create a new claim under a different email address. I was filling out the form for my husband as his name is on the car. So I chose representative. Ran into a problem when they wanted me to upload a power of attorney. Could not go back and delete myself as his representative.

What is VW going to do to assist in making sure we all have transportation to get another vehicle? If I do not buy another VW which is unlikely at this point. How quickly will my loan be paid off with VW? What incentives are given to TDI owners to entice us to buy another VW vehicle?

For information about loan payoff, please read the frequently asked questions and the FTC's Approved Consent Order at VWcourtsettlement.com, or the Long Form Notice you should have received from VW.

That information is fine but does not outline ALL details or address my questions directly. I do not feel that VW is providing answers or handling this in a way that gives TDI owners confidence. It has been MORE than 10 days since all of my items were received and I am still waiting to see where I stand with this.Calling isn;t an option because like everyone else I dont have 8 hours to sit on hold! WHAT IS GOING ON. WHEN WILL I PERSONALLY HAVE A DECISION ON MY SETTLEMENT... 10 DAYS is NOT accurate!

Although VW may have accepted your documents before October 25, VW is permitted to take 10 business days from November 1 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.

And, after your claim is complete, VW is permitted to take 10 business days to confirm whether you’re eligible. Then, you can schedule an appointment.  If you choose buyback, you will be able to schedule an appointment within the next 90 days.

VW has eclipsed the 10 days on our eligibility notification. Recourse?

It's been 15 business days since they approved my documents and have heard nothing about my eligibility. I called and it was really of no help. This is unacceptable

Sounds like VW is making loyal owners wait around for all this to be finalized. So if I finally get to the buyback appointment, I have to wait 3 business days to receive the money? I won't have a car to use for work, so VW doesn't care about that? They created this mess, and yet they are making this process drag out much longer than it should be. Also, if I would be over the mileage estimate I entered when I registered for the buyback, what happens then? Do I still receive a payment with an adjusted mileage amount?

If you get to your buyback appointment and your car’s mileage is more than the expected mileage range was when you submitted your claim, your buyback amount could be reduced. If that happens, you will get a check within three banking days.

If there is no need for a mileage adjustment at your appointment, you could choose to get your check at the appointment or have it deposited electronically to your bank account within three banking days.

Call times are 4 to 6 hours and the online portal continues to have a spinning icon and error codes that pop up asking you to refresh your browser. I have been trying to log on for hours to upload a single document. This needs to be looked into by the FTC. If we cannot upload our information due to VW, the FTC needs to get more involved overseeing this process. The longer the process takes the longer VW can put this off while the customer has a car we are scared to drive because if something would happen to it were screwed! The miles thing still blows my mind, we are expected to continue to make payments, insurance and while being strongly suggested by VW not to drive the car because they will deduct for miles. This is going to be ugly before it is all said and done!

The FTC Consent Order requires Volkswagen’s website to provide an easy-to-use mechanism to submit documents, and for Volkswagen’s representatives to promptly answer calls to the toll-free number seven days a week from 7:00 am to 11:00 pm eastern time. 

The FTC is actively monitoring Volkswagen’s compliance with these requirements, and taking appropriate action if Volkswagen fails to meet its obligations.  The FTC is also carefully monitoring consumer complaints submitted to FTC.gov/complaint.

Would you please stop posting the same repetitive saying about how the FTC is carefully monitory Volkswagens compliance, when obviously VW is NOT complying by being staffed enough to handle phone calls or help online. Repeating the same thing over and over will not make these questions go away. Simply say "I will find out why VW is not in compliance and post an answer within 24 hours".

I agree with you. I love how VW is saying "we'll see if you're eligible" when we were apparently already eligible a year ago and received the "goodwill package". Nothing has changed since then. They are dragging this out way too long. I will not buy another VW. Done with them because of this game they're playing.

Everyone is upset because of the terms verify eligibility and the 10 business day issue. Here is how it plays out. YOU as an individual ARE NOT eligible until you can prove it. Your CAR, by VIN, is eligible. The Court allowed VW 5 BUSINESS days to start verification of your claim. Verification of the Claim is ensuring that all the paperwork you submitted is in order and complete. These are the items that VW will use to verify that YOU are the actual owner of the CAR that is eligible. VW got to start this on 1 November because of the 5 business days. They have until 16 November to let you know if you need to submit anything else or correct a document, etc. Now that the CLAIM is complete, VW has 10 BUSINESS days to determine YOUR eligibility based on the documents you provided. That means, you should be notified that you are eligible before 1 December.

Once you get this notice, you will be able to call a dealer and schedule an appointment, sometime in the next 90 days, at your request - schedule it for tomorrow, schedule it for day 89 - this allows you to get the most out of the vehicle based on your needs.

Thank You! You finally answered my question. My documents were accepted as complete on November 3rd. I'm assuming that sometime between now and 11/17, they'll send me an offer. So based on your response, my process then should be: I'll sign the docs and get them notarized. Upload them back to the claims portal. They'll validate that they are complete. Then I can make an appointment as soon as the first day afterwards and no later than 90 days. However, the information provided on the phone recording through the claims line, the appointment times are at the availability of the close-out specialist at the selected dealership. It does say that you'll be given the option to look at available appointment times at dealerships throughout your area. Hope that's true, I want the first available appointment.

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