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Volkswagen repays $9.5 billion to car owners and lessees

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You might remember that, back in 2016, the FTC sued and then settled with Volkswagen and Porsche over their multi-million dollar “clean diesel” marketing campaigns. The problem? The VWs, Audis, and Porsches they said were “clean” actually had an illegal device to let the cars pass emissions tests. Not so clean, after all. The settlement that the FTC attorneys and I negotiated – along with the private bar – got Volkswagen and Porsche to agree to pay up to $10 billion to replace or repair the more than 550,000 cars affected. That meant the full retail price of those cars – plus repaying people for things including their time, and taxes and registration fees.

Today, our final report went to the court, explaining what happened in the program – what we call redress. It is, as the report says, “…one of the most successful consumer redress programs in history.” The numbers make that clear: these companies wound up paying people who owned or leased these cars $9.5 billion. (Billion, with a B). And 86% of U.S. car owners/lessees who were eligible for a buyback, and who went through the claims program, chose not to repair their car. Instead, they opted to have defendants buy back their car (or they terminated their leases early). 

Anytime the FTC brings a case, our goal is try to get money back to people. Sometimes we succeed – and sometimes, as in this case, we can make people whole again. Of course, our partners in other agencies worked with us to get billions back for environmental relief. But it’s sometimes said that FTC stands for “For The Consumer” – and Michelle Schaefer, Simon Han and I feel lucky to have worked with such a great team of FTC attorneys, paralegals, economists, consumer education specialists, and graphic designers to get billions back for the people who were affected.

Check out the final report for more of the story.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


Thank you for your service to the consumer, and for your edu-taining writing - you're an inspiration and the advocate needed by "the little people" who benefit from your collective wisdom, tenacity, and forthright communication.


Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I was so upset with Volkswagen. At the time they had such friendly ads, really friendly ads, all the while stabbing us in the back. Justice is so rare and you got it for all those owners. Actually, you got it for all of us - we all had to breathe the dirtier air too! Congratulations and thank you again. Yahoo!

Great work !
We need help 'everywhere' - even in the 'small things'
Thank you !

Thank you for posting this encouraging update amidst the barrage of so much corporate greed and exploitation of even programs like the PPP. It would be nice to know what systemic changes Volkswagen made, since this is deliberate deception and harm was knowingly committed. Thank you for the good work of you & your colleagues!

The diesels were still cleaner than the gas engines. You did all of us owners a disservice with the recall.

This is a great deal for the consumer,thanks good job.

Thank you for a job well done!

Awesome Job! Keep up the Great Work!

I think that's overmuch. There are tons of old VW's, wrecked VW's parted VW's, VW's that people just did not take care of. I think people are going to take advantage of this auto maker. It may put them out of business. That's just wrong. Think of how many employees will be out of a job. Think of the drastic economic negatives that will trickle down from this overboard suit.
Sincerely, An economics analyst.

Thank you for your heroic efforts to hold these automakers accountable and win meaningful remedies for affected consumers. We need more good public servants like you and your team. Well done!

Thanks for all you do For The Consumers! Cheers to the FTC team to ensure Fairness, Transparency and Consumer awareness. Tania

Still. What is this so called illegal device?

Thank very much for a job well done.
The American Consumer needs a lot of your help to protect us, keep us healthy and so we can make the best decisions for individuals and the families.

So great to hear a "winning" story in a world of corporate greed and underhanded behaviors usually winning out! Cheers to the FTC!

Wow, awesome work!

I own a VW and this is the first I've heard of refunds. Is there a way that I can still file a claim?

Thank you so much for taking on this global giant for the American consumer!

My husband and I were so disappointed by the deceit by VW. We have been customers for quite a few years. This was so appropriate to keep everyone honest. Thank you.

I have had three(3) VW one Jetta and two Passat.....from 2012 to current. Just leased a 2020 Passat R line. Do I qualify for any compensation?

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