Judge Approves VW TDI Settlement

This is an excerpt from CNBC, originally written by Patrick T. Fallon.

A U.S. federal judge on Tuesday approved Volkswagen’s record-setting $14.7 billion settlement with regulators and owners of 475,000 polluting diesel vehicles, and the German automaker said it would begin buying back the vehicles in mid-November.

The action by U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco marked the latest development in a scandal that has rocked VW since it admitted in September 2015 using secret software in its diesel cars to cheat exhaust emissions tests and make them appear cleaner than they really were.

Under the settlement, Volkswagen agreed to spend up to $10.033 billion on the buybacks and owner compensation and $4.7 billion on programs to offset excess emissions and boost zero-emission vehicle infrastructure and other clean vehicle projects.

The affected vehicles emit up to 40 times legally allowable pollution levels. Volkswagen may also be allowed to repair vehicles if regulators approve fixes.

In total, Volkswagen has agreed to date to spend up to $16.5 billion in connection with the diesel emissions scandal, including payments to dealers, states and attorneys for owners. The scandal rattled VW’s global business, harmed its reputation and prompted the ouster of its CEO.

The world’s second-largest automaker still faces billions more in costs to address 85,000 polluting 3.0 liter vehicles and U.S. Justice Department fines for violating clean air laws. It also faces lawsuits from at least 16 U.S. states for additional claims that could hike the company’s overall costs.

Finally, some progress on this buy back. We’ll see how much longer everyone will have to wait.

Day Zero: Part 2

Now we wait; I was told that the wait would be anywhere from 30-60 days. The following two months were a wave of internet research. I consumed as much information as I possibly could. I registered to any and every forum with any semblance of connection to the TDI. I must have looked through google images for hours on end, considering the options, planning for what was to come. I was boiling over with excitement, the days passing like they did when I was younger and waiting for Christmas morning. My truck was amazing, make no mistake, but I was ready to cut back on transportation expenses.

Throughout the process, my sales rep would provide updates via email. The updates were lacking but I tried to ignore it, understanding how long communication chains are in an operation like auto manufacturing. The end of December finally arrived and I call the dealership. After seemingly fifteen minutes on hold, they find out that the order was “pending” at the factory and that the order for the car had never been accepted.

Simply put, “My Car” didn’t exist and hadn’t been started at the 60 day mark in the sales cycle. I was disappointed. The dealership began to scramble. A few hours later, the dealer calls. My rep did some digging and found a car with the same spec as my order on a container ship that was due to arrive any day. The dealer put in a request for this car and was accepted; Finally making some progress.

January 13, 2013 I received the call. I could barely contain my excitement. This was the first car I had ever purchased brand new for myself. I had been driving every sort of beater until the Duramax and was excited to have a piece of the new car smell for myself. I pop into the dealership and handle the paperwork. Per the usual, my arm was cramped from signing away all the documents that go with a purchase such as this.

Part of the agreement that I made with myself in order to bear the expense of depreciation on a new vehicle was the intention to keep this car for 10 years plus. If I could keep the car for an extended period of time, buying new should/would balance out over the long term. I also expected the diesel to have a longer life cycle than the gasoline equivalent and see higher fuel economy in the process. These factors sold me on the idea of spending the extra money at the time and I was happy with the decision. I was also a diesel fanboy, couldn’t help it. The raw power and torque that the truck could put down sold me on the diesel platform.

Stay tuned for Part 3!

Day Zero: Part 1


My intention is to document my experience with the Volkswagen buy back process for my Jetta TDI as well as document my day to day ownership with an F30 328D.

I am currently the proud owner of a 2013 Volkswagen Jetta TDI. As you likely know, Volkswagen AG is caught up in some emissions scandal at the moment, which, will lead to the mass buy back of many of their diesel vehicles in the market today.

This all started in October of 2012. At the time, I was driving a 2007 GMC Sierra 2500HD with the Duramax/Allison combination. The vehicle was an amazing piece of machinery with plenty of utility and gobs of torque. Needless to say, I loved the truck but I felt the need to downsize due to fuel and maintenance costs as well the obvious point; I didn’t really need a truck. I started looking for a diesel automobile replacement, the TDI seemed to be one of the few choices available in the US market. I decided to visit a dealership to see if I could drive one for a few days to get a feel for the car.

The first dealership was nearby my house, the obvious choice – or so I thought. I was unable to secure a vehicle to drive for more than 5 minutes and the dealership was seemingly not interested in this potential sale. I tried to escalate my request, hoping the sales manager would be able to over ride this shut out decision. He declined my request. I mentioned that a few other dealerships in the area would happily oblige this request. Their response set me back, “Well maybe you should go talk to them”. To further my frustration, the receptionist made a comment as I was leaving the show room floor. She said, and I quote, “Your request is ridiculous and unheard of. Have a nice day”. That single comment changed the perception of my timeline for moving forward.

Ridiculous she says….. I wasn’t ready to purchase but I was upset at the way the first dealership treated me. I called another dealer, from the showroom of dealer #1, that was much farther away. I asked to speak with someone in the sales department and was immediately connected. I asked the rep the same questions as the first dealer, “Would it be possible for me to take a car for a week to ensure I’m set on what I want before making any decisions?”. Her response set the entire process into motion. I drove up to the dealer to test drive some cars, still only looking. After some time, somehow, I end up placing an order for the car I wanted during that visit, with every option I was interested in, before heading home with a smile on my face.

Stay tuned for Part 2!