The trust you had in the Volkswagen brand may have disappeared once you learned of the cheating scandal that was allowing VW models to emit as much as forty times the allowable limit of NOx into the air. NOx is a pollutant that has been linked as a cause of cancer and is easily something we don’t want in the atmosphere. Although the numbers have varied since Volkswagen agreed to buy back or fix the offending models, they are said to be spending as much as $25 billion between current vehicle owners, regulators, states and dealers to try and make good on this problem.
At this point in the process, it appears VW has bought back nearly half of the models that are equipped with the 2.0-liter TDI engine. The total number of cars on the roads in the US with this engine comes to 475,000 and VW has agreed to buy back at least 85 percent of them. At this point, there have been nearly 238,000 models bought back with another 6,200 that were fixed to be allowed back on the road. These vehicles are currently sitting in lots around the country as VW looks to try and gain approval to fix them.
Right now, Volkswagen has the government’s approval to sell 2015 model year TDI versions that have been fixed, but models from years earlier than that have not received and approved fix at this point, which leaves their fate an uncertainty. If no fix is approved these cars may end up being recycled with many of the parts being added to the various junk yards around the country. This would be a huge process, but one that Volkswagen would have to manage and pay for as well with many of the parts in these cars deemed unusable for future models.
This buyback process marks the biggest in automotive history and the process has been moving along fairly smoothly so far. VW still hopes to gain approval to fix the offending models that are from the 2014 model year and earlier so they can resell them in the US or in foreign markets and not take a complete loss on these vehicles. It may be a few years before all the offending TDI model are off the road and put where they belong, but so far the process seems to be making impressive progress.
This buyback, along with the new prototypes that Volkswagen has been presenting at shows recently, should give you some confidence this company is ready to take the steps forward that are necessary to give us the vehicles of the future and regain our confidence. In an effort to do this, VW had announced the goal to create as many as thirty new models off their new EV platform which would be a far cry from the NOx emitting TDI models we have been selling back to this company. The future appears to be brighter for VW and as these cheating cars are taken off the road, the memory of what has happened will eventually become a distant one.