VW to offer buyback program for polluting TDI diesels, report says

April 20, 2016

Owners of late-model Volkswagen diesel vehicles in the U.S. have been in a figurative free fall of uncertainties for nearly seven months.

They’ve been without clear answers about whether they should drive their vehicles, which could emit nearly 40 times the legal limit of some health-affecting pollutants in real-world driving conditions. They’ve been without answers on how a fix to their cars might affect fuel economy or performance. And they’re not sure what that fix will be or how soon it will be made—or what their TDI-badged vehicle, which used to have enviably high resale value, will be worth, come trade-in time.

Now up against a one-month extension given last month by a federal judge, which expires Thursday, it appears that the automaker is on the eve of an agreement with the EPA. According to the German newspaper Die Welt, and Reuters, as part of a detailed plan to remedy U.S. diesel models, the automaker is preparing to offer to buy back up to a half a million vehicles with the 2.0-liter diesel I-4 engine.

That includes the approximately 482,000 2.0-liter diesel models from the 2009 through 2015 model years. In addition, more than 85,000 vehicles with the 3.0-liter TDI V-6 have also been affected by the scandal—with VW, Audi, and Porsche brands involved.

The plan, which is slated to be heard in a federal court in San Francisco Thursday, will include the possibility of repairing some of the affected vehicles—totalling nearly 600,000 in all.

The agreement reportedly also includes a scheme in which owners could receive $5,000 per vehicle in compensation, independent of a fix to the vehicles.

So far, as part of a goodwill program, U.S. owners have only received $500 for the inconvenience, as well as a $500 certificate for dealership services.

Neither U.S. regulators nor Volkswagen have yet publicly confirmed the deal; but if you’re a Volkswagen TDI owner, you’ll want to check back soon.

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