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Volkswagen Dieselgate

Now that VW has announced their offer of settlement to owners, what should the owners of VW diesels do?

  1. Accept the $5000+ and get the car “fixed” when the “fix” is ready?
  2. Accept the $5000+ and do nothing further
  3. Sell the car back to VW for the pre-fiasco value?

Owners who bought these cars in good faith that they had both economical and clean vehicles are very disappointed. The fix, if and when it arrives, will cause decreased performance and make the car harder to sell later.

A number of owners I’ve talked to plan to just keep driving and take the money, mainly because they like their cars and the fix option is unappealing.

Many panelists will no doubt have an opinion here.

If they don’t take the buy back I think they should be fixed. Even after the fix they will still get better mileage than a lot of cars.

There is no known fix for the 4 cylinder cars. I bet there never is. And option 3 (sell back) also includes the $5000+ payment, some could end up getting back 100% or more of what they paid.

Is VW offering $5,000 & a free fix at some point or is the fix going to be the owners problem after they accept the $5,000 ?

To fix or not is not necessarily the question. Some states, like California and Maryland, are likely to demand that the VW diesels in question be fixed or they can’t be registered. If the ramifications of the fix are not available by the time a decision is required, I’d take the buyback. That way I would know how my car would behave in traffic, while with the TDI, it could be as slow as a golf cart. Also, if you make them buy it back, that maximizes their cash outlay. That has to be a big bonus.

Edit: the TDIs do not have to be fixed if they are exported, only if VW tries to sell them in the USA.

The $5000+ is for loss of value and inconvenience. In car insurance the equivalent is “pain and suffering”. There may not ever be a proper fix, in which case VW is obliged to offer to buy all the cars back at their market value before the scandal.

If VW buys them all back there will be no problem reselling them to countries with easier emission standards, and that would be most developing countries. A diesel VW might just be the cleanest vehicle on Nigerian streets. Busses and trucks belch black smoke all the time there.

The highly moralistic state of California will have to decide if letting the owners keep their cars and do nothing meets with their air standards. Those owners all vote!

The fix is free as is any call back retrofit. The owner can keep the $5000+

No exporting is allowed. If VW buys it back, they either fix it or scrap it.

I’m surprised that not doing the fix is even an option. Is that really the case with this deal the gov’t made w/VW, the owner can decide to not have the emissions problem fixed at their own discretion?

As Jt said, it depends on the state. It isn’t a safety recall, so the feds are apparently allowing the states to handle it each in its own way. At least that’s my understanding of it. For the majority of states, the ones without annual inspections, my guess is that most people will take the money and keep on truckin’. California residents will probably be required to have the recall done.

Personally, if my state didn’t require the fix I’d take the cash and keep on truckin’. As jt also said, then I’d know that my car will still perform satisfactorily and not be adversely affected by the “fix”. If it wasn’t broke, I wouldn’t fix it.

My decision would be to take the 5 grand and forget about fixing anything.

I would think option 2 will not truly exist. The EPA (and your state) will likely insist that your car pass emissions testing AND prove that a fix has been made (since we know the “cheater” cars will pass already). Sooner or later all of those cheater cars will have to prove they have been fixed. Furthermore, they will likely make it impossible to sell those cars unless you can show they have been fixed. I would think your resale will actually be better if you can prove that your car will pass all emissions test legally.

Remember folks, there is no such thing as a free lunch.

19 states don’t do emissions testing. These states have no system in place to ensure that vehicles meet standards once purchased.

I personally don’t believe owners should be in any way penalized, including having to have a change to their vehicle that adversely affects performance, because VW found a way raound the restrictions. The feds left a loophole and VW found it and went through it.

Yup, this opinion is philosophical rather than technical, but it’s my personal opinion. Penalizing VW and fixing the loophole I accept, but purchasers were not involved in any of this and should not be penalized.

The complication is that no fix yet exists, and may never exist. If a fix existed today, I’d be fine with folks only getting their $$ if they got the car fixed. Without a fix, I don’t see how they can be required to sell it back. If they keep it, and there’s no fix, there’s nothing to require them to do.

I suspect many STATES will refuse to register cars that can not demonstrate emissions compliance. If VW can’t fix them, they must get the grit in the crankcase treatment…

The stockholders get bled for $15 billion and nobody goes to jail…

These cars are violating the EPA regulations by spewing pollution at 40 times the legal limit. Whether or not there is a fix currently, I do not see how these cars can be allowed to stay on the road indefinitely. This is the way laws and regulations work. If you take the $5K now and don’t fix it then I don’t want to hear the crying later on when the cars are worthless or illegal, or both.

Turn in your car and suggest that VW take all these unfixable cars and make them race cars not subject to emissions. Install a roll cage and sell them for $500. I think the road racing sanctioning groups like SCCA, NASA, Chumpcar and LeMons should create a “spec VW diesel class” and folks could race the recall covered diesels until they are nothing but scrap.

I think smashwood derby would be more appropriate