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CLIFF LEPPKE'S CYBER SEAT
VW Makes a Deal; Will Buy Back Some Diesel Cars
In a confidential agreement with the U.S. Justice Department, VW offered several solutions to its emission-cheating diesel-car fiasco. One, 2.0-liter TDI owners will be able to have their cars fixed or, two, accept a buyback. A third component: VW claims it intends to compensate customers fully. Finally, VW will provide environmental remediation.
Financial and other details of this “agreement in principle” aren’t available. They remain confidential, as further work with various agencies is still necessary. The public should know more after a June 21, 2016 deadline.
District Judge Charles Breyer says consumers deserve “substantial compensation.” One German source says VW TDI owners might receive $5,000, but that figure sounds too high say others. Those who are leasing TDIs may end their leases, though.
VW says, “TDI owners need take no action at this time.” Vehicle buyback offers will be calculated based on the pre-scandal values of VW’s affected TDI models. Autos involved include 2009-2015 model years of these TDI cars: Jetta, Beetle, Audi A3, Golf and Passat.
If this agreement pans out, it’s considered a step in resolving a scandal that erupted last September when the EPA charged VW with cheating on diesel emissions testing. Approximately 480,000 2.0-liter TDI vehicles are involved.
Today’s agreement neither settles scores of other lawsuits nor criminal charges related to violations of EPA rules. A solution to 3.0-liter TDI emission cheating involving Porsche, Audi and VW models has not been reached. VW previously offered a software update that it said would rectify the problem.
Analysts speculate that the total cost to VW for its diesel-related deceptions could be $43 billion.
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Lost In Translation
VW CEO Mattias Mueller was in the hot glare of media lights at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, providing the company's latest response to the diesel emissions scandal.