Volkswagen is Fixing the Diesel Engines, Here’s Some Things to Know

06.22.16 - Former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn

We have the news that Volkswagen is ready to finally put this entire diesel engine scandal behind them and move on. In order to do this there are several things Volkswagen has to do in order to not only begin to earn our trust back but to also move forward by fixing what they have already done wrong. As with any time a company has intentionally led the public astray, Volkswagen has to ensure their vehicles will be able to meet or exceed the standards for emissions going forward and not just during testing. Here are some things you should know about this settlement that was reached.

Buyback Program – If you are a current owner that is affected by this scandal you can have your car bought back from you by Volkswagen. The amount of money you would receive for your vehicle has not been finalized and you likely won’t receive enough to purchase a brand new vehicle, but you should receive a significant amount of money toward a new or used vehicle of your choosing. Those who have a lease agreement will have it a little easier as they can cancel the lease with no penalty if so desired.

Repair Program – If you don’t want to sell your car back, and with the number of miles per gallon the cars with this engine get you might not, you can have the car fixed so it no longer uses a cheat device and it is able to adhere to EPA regulations. This will allow you to continue to own and drive your VW vehicle and enjoy the great gas mileage while ensuring it is now within regulations and no longer made in a way that negatively impacts the environment.

Compensation Fund for Customers – There will be a substantial compensation offered to all customers who are owners of the VW vehicles to offer some money to offset to trouble of these cars and the time it will take to have them brought to EPA standards. This compensation fund is expected to be close to $5,000 per customer which would bring this to around $1 billion for the current owners. This is normal practice when something this large takes place and its being handled by the same attorney that took care of the GM ignition switch recall that took place only a short time ago.

Compensation Fund for the Environment – While the amount of money for this fund is so far undisclosed there will also be a compensation fund to help promote green automotive technology and help to reduce the number of cars on the road that emit nitrogen oxide. This could be used to help build a larger infrastructure of charging stations for electric vehicles or it could be used to establish a new green car to be built by Volkswagen and made in the Tennessee plant to be the next green car we see. Much of this money will likely also be dedicated to promoting more initiatives that help to reduce the harmful chemicals in the atmosphere.

Not All Vehicles are Ready to be Fixed – The vehicles that use the 3.0-liter diesel engine are still not part of this current agreement. This is due to the fact that Volkswagen does not have a fix for these as of yet and it affects close to 85,000 vehicles from VW, Audi and Porsche. This is the engine used in the SUVs and this would require a different fix and certainly a larger compensation program because of the size and price of these vehicles, which is much greater than the vehicles using the smaller engine.

June 21 Was the Date to Watch For – All proposals to the settlement must have been filed by this date and the public will have an opportunity to weigh in before it’s signed off by the judge. With this settlement VW can avoid a trial over this scandal and the many affected customers can begin to see some resolution to what has worried them for the past several months regarding their VW vehicle.

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