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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
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Money & Credit

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Thank you- that is the most complete answer I have received for 5 calls to the claims portal. I uploaded my docs 10/12 was emailed 10/28 they had all the documents they required and determining my eligibility. On 10/31 I called and waited over 2 hours to speak to someone. The person I was directed to told me that she was overflow and couldn't answer my question, but she could put me back in the "que" to speak to someone that could (thanks for pulling me out of line and making me wait longer) after about 10 minutes a "claims" person came on and said based on what she saw I was through BOTH processes and I should get an email "any day." Yesterday, 11/15/16, I called and someone answered fairly quickly (under 5) was so incredibly condescending in rude that I hung up and called back. The next woman I spoke to was super nice and said that the claims number isn't working and that she could take my name and number and have someone call me. She also then said it didn't start until 11/1, but yesterday (11/15/16) was my 10 days. So...I just got off the phone today and again quick answer, pleasant rep, but claim line not working and can't transfer could take my name and number. She said TODAY 11/16/16 was the 10th day because to veteran's day AND election day. Didn't know VW got off for election day...lucky them. I don't actually believe they do, but they are going for any loophole they can here. She said if I didn't hear anything by Monday I should call back. I reminded her that even by their 11/1, 11/8, 11/11 standard that is outside the 10 day allotted. She said, well we are slammed. Now they probably are, but VW has had over a year to ramp up for this. Every day I drive my car they are going to deduct from it, every month a car payment is made is lighting money on fire. Everyone is acting like this is a great deal, but in Sept 2015 I probably could have sold my car for $25k plus. The 17/18k you are giving me is thousands less not to mention the costs of purchasing a new car- retail, tax, license, etc....... The loopholes, while I realize are to reduce fraud, are time consuming and you are costing me money....besides the fact I bought a car based on fraudlent claims. If VW really cared about us they would be doing more. TDI owners were the most loyal VW owners. You would think they would want to maintain that loyalty, but I don't feel it and I don't see it from VW corp or the dealerships. Long term that is going to cost you much more money than anything you give me in the short term b/c I would have remained a loyal customer for life and told all my friends to buy a VW. If I were a competing car dealership I would be catering to these owners to make them converters....but they probably don't have to b/c VW is doing little to maintain that loyalty. #vwcares (eyeroll)

YES!!! Could not agree more!!! Well said thesehoopsarecrap

I submitted my docs on 10/29. My docs were approved on 11/4. It is 11/18 and I still have not heard anything regarding an offer.

There are 3 tdi's sitting in my driveway, (mine, my wife's and my son's). As a repeat buyer of tdi's I have only one thing to say to Volkswagen...

I love my new Subaru!

Unfortunately, this has not panned out. VW confirmed that all my documents were received and they are "determining eligibilty" as of November 21. It is now December 18. I cannot reach a person nor have I received a final offer letter. This stinks! I was going to consider another VW but not after how they have treated me in this process. Not to mention their computer tracking system is ridiculous! Will be getting another vehicle from another manufacturer when I do.

I don't understand why mileage is even a factor if these vehicles are going to be destroyed? It's obvious that they're buying time for that reason. If they average 1K mileage adj per settlement that's a huge savings!

The number of miles affects the value of the car. A 2010 with 100k miles is worth more than the same car with 200k miles.

But them making us wait longer for a settlement is only adding to the miles we put on the cars. We should not be penalized because they aren't keeping THEIR timelines. And when will they come out without a fix????? How long before we get our settlement for keeping these cars? I drive a 120 miles a day for work,which is the only reason why I bought the car. I'm almost to my expected mileage already!! We are not being treated fairly during this process! They are they only ones benefiting from this extended waiting.

Has anybody "mailed" the required documents? I feel foolish now. Two weeks have gone by and the Portal still says "Waiting on your mail". Seems like I may not get the buyback completed for several months now. Does anyone have any experience with getting confirmation of mailed documents?

What happens when I receive an offer for buyback on my car but have paid 2 months of payments on my loan? Will that be added/updat d when I go in?

Hi Bridget, after VW confirms I am eligible, do I have to schedule the buyback date within 90 days? What if I need more time to buy a replacement car?

Please ask VW about that, and remember, you have until September 1, 2018 to submit your claim.

Tkon, have you found out any more info on this. Im in the same situation as you are. I just don't have the time to go car shopping and will definitely need the car for more than 90 days. Do I just delay submitting the Settlement Program Claim Form until I am ready? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Are CCs not included in this claim?

No they are not, since they were never built with the TDI diesel engine.

My docs have been under review since 10/11 also. No response can't call in, website is down a lot to even check on it

I submitted my claim and documents weeks ago and although the website says VW will contact me within 10 business days to confirm eligibility, they certainly have not. Are they dragging it out in order to short-term invest the money to help pay for it?

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.

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

Ok - so I uploaded my documents to the portal on 10/5. I get it that there is a 10 day review period starting after the final court approval on 10/25. Given that it is now 11/16 well past 10 business days my documents still show, pending review. Please stop being a parrot and provide some real answers. What action do we as VW consumers have now? It appears that people that completed a claim after the 10/25 date are getting their documents reviewed and approved before anyone of us that submitted our claims when the portal went live. And even though you say VW is permitted to take 10 business days from 11/1 to say my claim is complete; It is now 11 business days and my claim has not moved from the final step when i submitted it on 10/5. Sounds like an additional lawsuit could be coming.

I have had a Volkswagen jette 1998 can I make a claim?

No, that car is not included in this settlement. The settlement applies to 2009 to 2015 VW TDI Beetle, Golf, Jetta, Passat or Audi TDI A3.

I love my 2010 Jetta Sport wagon. Its great, and I don't really care about the emissions. Doesn't impact me in the least. What if I don't turn in my car, can I just keep it? What are the ramifications there?

The FTC Order does not require any vehicle owner or lessee to participate in the buyback program, although we encourage all owners and lessees to learn about their options under the Settlement before making a decision on whether to participate. The FTC cannot address any other potential ramifications there may be.

What about those of us who purchased extended warranties at the time of purchase? I spent almost $1,600 on this and I have only 50k on the car turning it in... Are we going to be compensated for that as well or are we SOL?

To see if there is compensation for a vehicle option, please look at the buyback and approved emissions modification restititution charts available at vwcourtsettlement.com.

Use the charts to find your vehicle by Model, Year, Body Style, and Region; add or subtract your vehicle's factory‐installed options; check to see if your vehicle is subject to a mileage adjustment.

The offer I received from the claims administrator's website did not account for any of those options and was approximately $6,000 less overall (buyback + compensation amount) than the figure I calculated from the FTC's charts. For example: for my region, my car should be valued around $23,000 (per the FTC chart) but the value offered by VW was only $19,000. On top of that, there was no addition for options (stereo, sunroof, etc...). I have contacted a dealer with no reply and submitted a complaint to the FTC. Do you have any other suggestions? Thank you.

NO they are not paying you for that, I paid $1999 for a warranty up to 6 years or 100,000 miles. I have currently 54000 miles and four years in, and they told me it is not part of the settlement and I have to try to get it back from the warranty company even though VW sold me the warranty when I bough the car new. FTC should know this..

Ditto!!! The VW dealership sold me the extended warranty----which added to my VW Credit loan. I have only 30k miles on the stupid car. Waiting daily to find out when I get my buyback date.

Be grateful it is only $1999 - my dealer offered me the incredible deal of a $5400 warranty! The F&I guy told me it was a great value....for him. Needless to say I declined and gave the lowest marks possible on my follow-up survey.

I also purchased an extended warranty for $1,9999 applied to VW credit. I called the warranty company and they said it is being taken care of through the dealership. I contacted dealership and was told to look at the fine print that says "NONREFUNDABLE" they are however offering to apply that warranty to a new or used vechicle purchased from them again, if not you are SOL. Anyone think a lawyer could help with this. Not the typical scenario where I would just cancel a warranty this is a huge ordeal not in my control. I have 26,000 miles on my TDI Passat purchased 2/2015. The warranty isn't even effective until 84 months or 75,000 miles

I too purchased an extended warranty. I read the warranty document for info on cancelling the policy and called the company. The warranty company told me to take the warranty back to the vw dealer I bought it from, to cancel the policy. I did that, the dealer noted my mileage and is sending the termination in to the warranty company. Of the $1700 I paid, I will get about $1000 back, according to the warranty company.

RE EW: Has anyone raised that the date the Warranty should be cancelled is the TDI buyback date (where the vehicle price was fixed) or alternatively that it should be based on the date you accepted the settlement. Also wondering how the warranty would even stand-up if you kept the car--would any emission modifications even be covered (would that nullify the warranty itself), thus shouldn't this be considered a special case rather than a standard cancellation.

VW rejected my vehicle registration because the address on it was my PO Box, and not my physical address. In my account I had listed my PO Box as my address, so there isn't any common sense being applied at all. They say I have the option of editing my vehicle registration address under the ACCOUNT tab, but this is not true - there is no option to alter the vehicle registration address. I called two weeks ago to explain this conundrum but still no response. They offer only one path to contact them - the phone with a 2 hour wait - and then they do nothing. What else can I do?

On the document upload portal it asks for a copy of the front and back of the title. My vehicle is paid off, my title copies had been rejected - showing a lien holder, after 5 HOURS on hold I was told to download the payoff letter in the "front of title" section. I did that now and wiped out the copy of the front of title. What the heck is going on here - so far no response from VW this has been going on for 2 months !

I received an email from VW on 10/25/2016 stating: "We have reviewed the documents you submitted as part of your claim with reference number _________. Currently, your application contains all of the necessary documentation to determine your eligibility. We are now determining your eligibility and will inform you whether you are eligible to participate in the VW/Audi Diesel Emissions Settlement Program." Does this mean that my second "10 day clock" started on 10/20/2016 or am I still at 20 days out from 10/25/2016 to receive my offer and be able to schedule my buyback appointment? The online site says I am at step 15 but does not tell me how many total steps I have to complete. It also have very little to know information about time tables now that the settlement has been approved. I think they could do a much better job getting us information and keeping us up to date on where we stand in the process!

After you submit your claim, VW has 10 business days to tell you whether your claim is complete. You got a message that said "your application contains all the necessary documentation to determine your eligibility." It sounds like VW told you your claim was complete.

After your claim is complete, VW has 10 business days to review it and confirm that you’re eligible. You got a message that said "we are now determining your eligibility and will inform you whether you are eligible to participate." It sounds like VW is in the 10-business-day period when it reviews your claim. VW has until the end of that 10 business day period to tell you whether you are eligible.

I received the same email on 10/26 and on that same day the online claims site also says "We are now determining your eligibility and will inform you whether you are eligible to participate in the Settlement Claims Program and, if applicable, will provide you with a final offer, within ten business days." It is now past 10 business days (which would have been 11/9). Are the 10 business days starting on 11/1 no matter which stage you're at in the process (either claims acceptance or eligibility)? If so, this would mean I should expect an offer no later than 11/16. I just want to make sure I am reading everything correctly. Thank you

That's funny that you say they have 10 business days. My 10 business days was up November 22. It is now Dec 5 and I have heard nothing back from them. They need to get their crap together and figure everything out. I have had my car parked for the last month and a half so I'm not putting miles on it, yet I'm still making payments! I am extremely frustrated! Pretty sure if this was the other way around and VW was waiting on our money they'd be moving a h*** of a lot faster than they are now.

Hi Bridget, I received an email on Nov 1st confirming my claim was complete and and that they were determining my eligibility. Today is 11/16 and it has been 10 business days and I have not received any notifications via email or mail that I am eligible or not. I know I am. Do you have any suggestions on how to get this moving?

You continue to not answer the questions we are asking in lieu of giving us "canned" answers! I don't know who is more frustrating the FTC or VW. Both organizations are deflecting. I submitted my claim after November 1st. I received a response on Saturday, November 5th stating I would receive a final response in 10 business days. Today was 10 business days. Yet another prime example of the people who get to pay for a corporations mistakes. They get a slap on the wrist, and we get to foot the bill.

Bridget, I received notification on Oct 27th that my application contained all documentation to determine eligibility. If I am counting correctly, 23 or business days (If you start Nov 1 and do not count the Friday after Thanksgiving) have come and gone with no response from VW on weather or not we are eligible. It doesn't appear they are following the 20 day rule either. Open ended statements from the Claims portal, like: We are now determining your eligibility and will inform you whether you are eligible to participate in the Settlement Claims Program and, if applicable, will provide you with a final offer are concerning. Based on that statement one may be lead to believe there will only be a response if eligibility is determined, otherwise there will be no response. Can they really be trusted to determine eligibility, shouldn't that be left up to the Courts. Clearly there is cause for enhanced scrutiny almost to the point of micromanaging from assigned supervisory over site. So with the whole 20 day thing now expired are there any new updates regarding the notification timeline? At what point would you suggest filing a complaint?

Please use your judgment about when or whether to file complaint at FTC.gov/complaint.

If you do, choose the category "other" from the list on the left on the first screen. Choose the category "automobile" from the list on the right on the second screen. Provide as much additional information as you want. When you get to the screen that lets you describe the problem in your own words, please include the words diesel and VW.

Bridget We have a claim number but have not finished the online portal claim. On page 14 it asks for a power of attorney. We do not want a Power of attonery. but won't let us skip this part Please help me out here. Who are we suppose to put as a power of attorney?

I'm sorry, I can't see what forms you are referring to. Can you ask the VW staff what that means, or ask a friend who has legal knowledge?

When did you submit your documents, mine were received on 10/4 and they are still under review.

I think I filled out the original application in August maybe July. I did not see that they needed copies of the registration and DL till about mid October and I sent the same day. The poor organization and dissemination of information is very discouraging.

Same here, sent in claim the first week of August. Knew nothing about the documents, just happened to come across that when I went back on the site beginning of October. All documents have now been accepted, so now waiting for the next step.

You will find more information about buyback, lease termination and emissions modification at vwcourtsettlement.com and in the detailed Long Form Notice VW should have sent you.

I received that same message on their Online Portal on 10/25 as well as an email the next day. I was thrilled thinking this was going to happen soon. I received a large envelope in the mail on Monday, 10/31, thinking it was good news. All they sent were TWO IDENTICAL copies of the information from the main screen on their site about the Court approval. I'm getting tired of the wait; I had hoped to have another vehicle before winter hits. I love how they're taking their good old time with the 10-day wait periods. When we go to the dealership, our checks should be available then. Also, if I'm over the mileage estimate I gave when I applied, I'll have to wait 3 banking days to receive a check? I dread having to call to schedule my appointment. The wait times have been 4-6 hours. Hope this improves for their customers.

I feel your pain! I wish they could at least let us know where we are exactly in the process. How many days out will it take to get our appointment. I was told by the guys at my local dealership that VWGoA would have someone at the dealership to take care of this, I would imagine that they want to see as many people as possible in a day. So does that mean that they are buying back from Dallas on one day or do we have multiple days to chose from? If we have our claims complete and we are ready to turn in the cars in the next 15 days do we have to wait because VWGoA will not have anyone in our area for 25 days?
I was going to stay with VW but not sure now and have been looking at other choices especially with the 2016 models on clearance.

I honestly thought they'd have a much better setup than they do. Now I'm worried I'll go over the mileage estimate I originally gave. I have a car already in mind, and it's not a VW. The trouble is, there are special deals on other vehicles, and VW is sort of holding us with these cars while they playing their darn waiting games. The 10-day allowances they're using are crazy. I still don't understand if we all were eligible a year ago, what changed?

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