11.01.16 - Volkswagen Headquarters - 2

The Option Chosen More Often… So Far

In Volkswagen by Rocco Penn

As we near the conclusion of the Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Scandal of 2015 it seems more owners are opting for one choice over another. This scandal showed that over 475,000 owners of Volkswagen and Audi vehicles that are powered by the 2.0-liter diesel engine were actually emitting as much as forty times the allowable amount of emissions into the atmosphere because of a defeat device that was purposely installed in the engines. This device was designed to detect when the vehicle was being tested and only then would the emissions system be engaged, which is why this issue wasn’t found sooner.

Unfortunately for Volkswagen more than half of the owners of vehicles with this engine have opted for the choice that would be more costly to the company. Current owners have the option of either having their car bought back from them at the pre-scandal value plus a compensation amount or having the vehicle fixed while still receiving the compensation. Obviously the more costly choice would be the buyback and over 200,000 owners have already registered to have the buyback option given to them rather than see if Volkswagen can fix this problem on the diesel engines.

This settlement isn’t even finalized, but it seems Volkswagen might be stuck with a large number of cars that have to be broken down and destroyed because of this scandal, but that’s really their own fault. What seems to be the biggest issue is the fact that Volkswagen hasn’t come up with a fix for this engine that will bring in within regulations for emissions in the US. The fact that emissions regulations are expected to become even more stringent in the years to come is an even larger factor in making this the choice that will not be attractive to these current owners.

The one fix that’s been partially approved does bring the engine to within eight to nine times the legal limit of emissions expulsion without disrupting the fuel efficiency of the vehicle. This is most likely enough to make many owners decide to have the vehicle bought back because it’s not the most attractive option and doesn’t bring it to within legal limits. Many owners can see how, down the road, these vehicles would then become illegal to drive and with the VW settlement complete they would be left with an extremely large paperweight in their driveway with no relief in sight.

Volkswagen has stated they feel they can still create a fix for the offending engines that will bring the vehicles in line with emissions regulations without affecting the fuel mileage of these cars. Since that’s still yet to be seen, most of the owners have already chosen to have their vehicles bought back and are ready to start over again with a new vehicle, most likely from another brand. It seems Volkswagen is running out of time to reduce the financial impact and create a fix that will bring these vehicles completely in line with the overall emissions regulations in the US.