Audi's A3 Is Among Those Approved For Volkswagen's Initial Fix In the Emissions Rigging Scandal

If Most Owners Want Cash, Why Is VW Still Seeking Dieselgate Fixes?

Volkswagen received approval of its first fix in the Dieselgate scandal. However, you have to wonder why owners would opt out of a buyback of their vehicles for a fix?

In what may be more of a pyrrhic victory than anything else, Volkswagen’s plan to fix about 70,000 polluting Volkswagen 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel engine received an okay from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Friday.

According to Reuters, the fix – only the initial one – involves a software change, now. There will be a second phase in about a year when VW is slated to install other software updates and new hardware. The hardware includes a diesel particulate filter, diesel oxidation catalyst and an NOx catalyst. NOx stands for nitrous oxide.

Majority Of Owners Opt For Buyback

Volkswagen is forging ahead with its plan to fix vehicles involved in the diesel-rigging scandal despite the fact that more than 400,000 of the 475,000 owners eligible for the buyback-or-fix plan had opted for the buyback as of late December.Majority Of Owners Opt For Buyback

Volkswagen agreed to buy back up to 475,000 polluting 2009-15 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel vehicles under terms of the Dieselgate class-action lawsuit settlement reached in June and given final approval in October. Lost in the commotion of the settlement plan, though, was the fix portion. The automaker had the option of repairing or buying back the vehicles if regulators approved the repair.

Every story that has appeared on Dieselgate in the last three months has always included a line: “the automaker agreed to pay up to $10.03 billion…” That line may have given VW some wiggle room in the amount it ultimately pays owners to settle the emissions rigging scandal. However, it is questionable just how much wiggle room the automaker has. VW may think that it can now go back to the more than 400,000 owners who have filed for the buyback and offer them the fix. And it will likely try, all things being equal.

However, again, all things being equal, it is quite unlikely that buyers who are expecting the trade-in price of their vehicle as of Sept. 15, 2015, plus anywhere from $5,100 to $10,000 in compensation, for their vehicles, will opt for any fix, other than the money.

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