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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 spoke with VW credit and they said that they would work with me since I am doing the buyback (they wan't their money) but they wont know what they can do until I have my appointment.

Meanwhile nothing seems to be happening with VWGOA. Still waiting to hear if my documents are approved.

This is way too long of a process. I submitted my info in September. I have now supplied all the documents and that is pending review. In the mean time I have to continue making payments on a car that VW is getting back. It needs tires and I am now facing winter...90 day wait. The car needs a service too. I do not want to put a dime into this car now...

This "waiting to see if you're eligible" is BS. We all were eligible when we first applied and typed our VINs in for that goodwill package. I, too, will be facing winter and cannot be without a car while I find something else. I'm not looking forward to calling that phone number to schedule my appointment at the dealer. Can you imagine the wait time for that? They need to make some serious changes to this whole process.

Canned comments about FTC monitoring claim center are typical so I have experienced same as others for over three weeks 2-5 hour waits, automated call backs don't work!p, reps pushing callbacks into queue, 4 different stories from 4 reps when finally did reach, 3 times Supervisor would not take escalation and promised to call back never did!!! Unbelieveable.....finally was told they only had one fax number and it appeared they had lost mine so I finally drove

Somewhere and paid to upload since my computer down. So IF FTC is monitoring what are you seeing and doing about it.....I knew I was not the only one....VW is ruining what Is left of their Brand and So is FTC with canned comments sorry!

This is ridiculous - I called because I have had my documents loaded up since 10/11 and they are still under review, and was told they were reviewing them in received order. I see that others submitted after that date and they are already reviewed? I am at the point that I need to put on snow tires (which I don't want to do ANYTHING to this car other than TURN IT IN). I feel sorry for the people on the phone, but I am very frustrated at this point. I have seen others who have had issues with the documents that have been accepted and am worried about ours at this point. Of course, nothing I see is being done about this. First, they have 10 days from 10/25 (according to above) and then yesterday, it was changed to 10 days from 11/1. Next you know, it will be 10 days from 12/1. Something has to give.

I agree with you completely! I submitted my claim originally a while ago, then found out I had to submit documents, not because VW informed me. I did this over 2 wks ago and have heard nothing. Now my car registration was due end of october so the one I submitted is no longer valid. On top of that and making payments, my inspection is due in November. Why should I get a car inspected I do not plan to keep any longer than I have to?

Below is what is confusing regarding the payout and the mileage. It contradicts itself. If I am over the mileage range, I have to schedule another appointment?
"Your payment is contingent upon completion of your closing transaction for a Buyback, Lease Termination or Approved Emissions Modification. Once you have completed your closing transaction, the timing of your payment depends on the remedy you chose, whether there was a mileage adjustment at the closing transaction, and the payment method you selected.
•If you chose a Buyback, a check will be available at your closing transaction and an Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) will be submitted within 3 banking days of your closing transaction.
•If at the time of your Buyback, your vehicle is subject to a mileage adjustment, an Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) in the revised amount will still be submitted within 3 banking days. A mileage adjustment will not affect the timing of an Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) payment.
•If at the time of your Buyback, your vehicle is subject to a positive mileage adjustment (in other words, your vehicle mileage at the time of your Buyback transaction is below the mileage range that you entered into the Online Claims Portal), you will receive a check at your Buyback transaction and an additional check for the amount of the mileage adjustment will be mailed to you within 3 banking days of the closing transaction.
•If at the time of your Buyback, your vehicle is subject to a negative mileage adjustment (in other words, your vehicle mileage at the time of your Buyback transaction is above the mileage range that you entered into the Online Claims Portal), your transaction cannot be completed and you will need to reschedule your appointment, you may do so using the Online Claims Portal or by calling 1-844-98-CLAIM."
Any advice on this?

Thank you for pointing this out. I'll check into this.

Thank you for the help. I'm curious to see what you find out.

Bridget Small - FTC: this is super confusing, does this mean that the actual mileage we entered in the portal at the time of entry (for me, that was a couple months ago) is supposed to remain the same until we turn the car in? Are they saying that there is some amendment process that needs to occur? The portal doesn't even allow us to see any of the details that were originally entered. I'm so confused.

You should have received a Long Form Notice from VW. It has a lot of information about the buyback, lease termination and emissions modification. The Long Form Notice has questions and answers about continuing to drive your car.

Information taken directly from the Long Form Notice ... it does not mention if you are over the mileage estimate that you had to reschedule your appointment.
"Check given at time of Buyback:
- Unless a negative mileage adjustment is required (if you went over the estimated mileage resulting in a reduced payment). In this case, a check will be mailed within three (3) banking days of the Buyback.
- If a positive mileage adjustment is required (if you are well under the estimated mileage resulting in a higher payment), then a second check for the additional amount will be mailed within three (3) banking days."

Because this is taking so long to process I will be over the mileage limit of 35k when I turn in my Jetta. It is not possible to park my car for months at a time as I drive 100 miles per day for work. It doesn't seem fair that we cannot use our broken vehicles without being punished financially.

Yeah, I've been watching my mileage and have 1400 until I go over the estimate I originally gave back when I "thought" I was already eligible. I agree with you; the cars need to be used. Why doesn't VW get it?

I just renewed my registration today because it expires on Nov 4th, will i need to upload the new registration also?

Same boat here. I was hoping to have this all over and done with before I had to re register. Blah!!

Same as I. Now I am hoping not to have to get it inspected. But I believe my mileage is already over the estimate and it is going to continue to grow and never be "accurate" as I need to drive the car everyday for work as well. So in the meantime we are making payments and the payment we will receive back is going down? How is that a "fair" settlement?

Is the fix required to be found by 2018? If the fix is not found & if we choose to keep the car, will they then buyback and how is the buyback amount then determined? Will the existing minimum buyback still be enforced at that later date?

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 could submit a claim for buyback, lease termination or approved emissions modification until September 1, 2018.

Since I am keeping my car and waiting for the fix, do I have to wait until a fixed is approved and service is completed in order to get my money? Or do I get it as soon as my documents are reviewed and approved?

Please contact VW at 1-844-98-CLAIM for answers to questions about an emissions modification.

Note to all: If you have uploaded your documents and not heard anything CALL!! I usually try in the morning and get through within 10 min. or so, but the problem is, they said to send a 'Letter of Consent' to speak with your loan company. Well, we typed one up, signed it and uploaded it. Once we were done it acted like all was right with the world. Well apparently there was a 'form' to fill out for the consent. When I finished the website never said 'Wait'! You need to fill this out, nothing. This was back on Oct. 12th. Nobody called me, nobody emailed me, nothing. Then, she said my account is locked for 2 to 3 days now so I can't even get into it to give them what they want until Monday!! Because of this I emailed them and told them that I advise that my 10 business days still resume from Oct. 25th and not start over again on Monday because this was not my fault. Wow, are they TRYING to make us dislike them more and further deepen peoples view of Volkswagen in general?

Same thing happened to us yesterday. We had no idea there was a form that needed to be filled out regarding our loan information. I filled the form out and was able to upload it, not sure now if our 10 days starts over.

Same thing happened to me, the VW portal did not have a link to "there" consent form on 10/11/16 when I uploaded everything, so I typed my own with all my information and uploaded it. I found there consent form a couple days later and filled it out also but the website portal would not let me upload another document so I faxed it instead. But VW apparently did not check the fax because I got an email notice this morning that the consent form document was declined so I had to upload the same document I faxed a week ago all over again. I expect this is so they can start the clock all over again. Mean time I have a car setting because it's at the max mileage they quoted me. This whole thing is horrible and makes me sick. VW is not working to retain customers, unless they are trying to push us to the dealers to feed on us because we are all frustrated with the buy back process. I have been getting calls from local dealers to come in and trade out of it...right, I'll get right on that...not!

Where are you finding the loan consent form? I looked for it, but also typed my own... another delay

Wow now im really confused. I saw that form awhile back. I turned my documents in oct 11. I called serveral times to check with them asking if i needed to send any other info reguarding my loan with vw credit. They told me no. They would be able to do that.i called three seperate times to make sure. They told me everytime that i was good and approved even though it doesnt state that on the portal. Im still under review. Im gona be pissed if i have to send in a release when i asked about that back at the end of oct.

I just received an email from the VW dealer I chose at the time I entered all my vehicle information/options. Did anyone else receive this from their dealer? Maybe it's a good sign. Hope so.

Bridget Small - FTC you keep saying they have 10 days from 11/1/2016, but isn't actually 10 days from 10/25/2016?

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.

That depends on the date that relief was actually made available. From what I have heard,the VW phone reps are taking the position that relief was made available on the approval date, Oct. 25th. That would make Nov. 8th VW's deadline to notify owners/lessees of the completeness of their claim. Correct that November 1 would be the outside date for the first 10 b.d. period to commence though.

Funny that I have recieved 2 copies of the same letter telling me that to submit a claim - They have all my paperwork.. My documents were approved.

So did I ... I went to the mailbox yesterday and found a large envelope from VWGoA. They sent me yet another one of those letters. What the heck are they doing? Such a waste of $!

I just sat on hold for 15 min and talked to someone. she said they have up to 20 day to respond from they day you submitted the claim. other than that it was all a script she kept saying over and over. Pointless and a waste of time.

How do we submit a complaint to the FTC regarding VW's abysmal phone service? The FTC complaint site requires choosing among several categories and subcategories, none of which are obviously relevant to this situation.

To submit a complaint, go to

There are at least two paths you can follow. You could choose "Scams and Rip-offs" from the categories on the left on the first screen, and choose "Other" at the second screen.

Or, you could choose "Other" at the first screen and "Automobiles" at the second screen.

Be sure to include the words "VW" and "clean diesel" in your complaint.

Bridget small when u call the 844 98 claims number they now says it's 20 days how is this the stupid car back

Don't bother, its a waste of time.

I was quick to submit all my info after the final approval, but after seeing this site thought I'd call the phone number. WOW! the recording sounds like it could be at least 45 days before they will actually start the buyback! I'm glad I don't need my car, but can let it sit. I feel for those who cannot afford to do that. :(

HBG TDI: What did the email from your VW Dealer say?

I called today to check on my status as my documents were uploaded in September and still show under review. I too was told by the rep that they have 20 business days to review my documents... apparently you're out of the loop Bridget Small.

Although VW may have accepted your documents before October 25 (before the settlement was approved), 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.

I sent my documents via Certified Mail. I got the return receipt showing they acknowledged receipt on 10/26. The claim portal is still showing that VW is awaiting receipt of my documents as of today...and I have not been able to get through to a live person at their claims center. It appears that VW is needs a kick from the FTC to keep their commitments. At this point, how can I get information to insure that they are processing my claim?

Although VW may have accepted your documents before October 25 (before the settlement was approved), VW is permitted to take 10 business days from November 1 to say whether your claim is complete.

Garbage 1. Waiting for VW to come back and say your docs are not complete. 2. Keep driving your car because you have no choice. 3. Mileage deduction. 4. You have to wait until a "rep" gets to your dealer. 5. In theory your not going to get your settlement until 2017. 6. Anyone else think that VW will claim they are making a reasonable effort but just couldn't keep up? So now your facing an undetermined amount of time. Keep on driving, add mileage, risk accident etc, etc.... Poor form VW, you have lost a customer.

On a more positive note, I uploaded 10/26 and this morning got an email stating my file was incomplete . . . at least someone looked at it. FWIW, that's 7 business days since upload, and 3 business days since Nov 1.

The problem was identified with the "Front of Certificate of Title" upload, specifically that the Title shows a loan I said I didn't have (it was paid off three years ago, and Maryland does not require issuing a "clean" title). Unfortunately, VW did not initially prompt to upload the lien release. This morning, based on experiences related in this blog, I re-uploaded under "Front of Certificate of Title" a four-page PDF containing the front and back of the lien release AND the front and back of the title. Stay tuned for further news.

FWIW, my dealer tells me that VW expects them to have office space for their rep and storage space for bought-back cars starting Nov. 8. We'll see . . .

So, what are the actual documents that are needed to be uploaded? I uploaded my title and my Audi car payment statement. By reading these, it appears I may not have the correct documents? Is there a form that is needed?

So what's a business day? M to F? Or are all days a business day. Its nov 4th and still no word back on my "documents under review"

In general, business days are Monday through Friday, excepting holidays.

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.

When you say VW is permitted to take 10 business days, you mean the third party claim administrator correct? If it's VW (who have a vested interest in delaying since they get $600 a month in lease payments from me), then there's clearly a conflict of interests.


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