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Do You Know Where VW Sends Repurchased Diesels? All Over The Place

As the size of the repurchased diesel vehicle fleet grows, VW finds places to store them. So far, sharp-eyed readers have located three major sites across the country.
Posted: January 28, 2017 - 11:23PM
Author: Marc Stern


With the Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal buyback in full swing, you might wonder what happens to the vehicles that have been repurchased by Volkswagen? The quick answer is that no one knows.

Volkswagen received the go-ahead to begin the buyback program three months ago. The owners of vehicles equipped with the engines that were at the center of this part of the scandal were given the option of having their vehicles repaired, if a fix was available, or receiving payments for their vehicles based on the NADA Used Car Guide value of those vehicles on Sept. 15. 2015. Owners also received compensation payments of $5,100 to $10,100.

475,000 TDIs Affected

Most of the 475,000 VW TDI owners, of course, opted for the buyout package simply because no fixes were – and still are not – available for the majority of the turbodiesel engines. The only fix that approved is for 2015 VW 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged vehicles whose hardware and software are the most up to date. The first fix is a software patch.

As the buyback program has reached full speed, owners have turned in a substantial number of VW turbodiesel vehicles. You’d be surprised where the cars and SUVs go. Honestly, they go nowhere, at all, because they cannot be resold just now.

Frankly, VW sends the turbodiesels to facilities across the nation. Here are some of the sites spotted by sharp-eyed Jalopnik readers:

  • An abandoned NFL stadium
  • A decommissioned airbase
  • A large area of Baltimore’s port facility

A spokesman for the automaker said the automaker was holding the vehicles until – and if – emissions fixes become available.

So far, the only fix approved is for TDI diesels from the 2015 model year. The diesels carry VW’s latest turbodiesel engine block, the EA288 2.0-liter four. They represent only a small portion of the vehicles that are now sitting in three VW storage facilities.

Former Home Of The Lions

Jalopnik readers spotted many VW TDIs at the Silverdome in Pontiac, Mich. The Silverdome is the former home of the Detroit Lions

Meantime, “thousands” of TDIs are at what was Norton Air Force Base in California. Norton is now part of the San Bernardino International Airport.

The third VW TDI storage area is the Port of Baltimore. Jalopnik reader/sleuths have done some poking around and claim to have found five storage lots in the port area filled with VW TDIs.

So, what will VW do with the repurchased vehicles? No one knows. All that expects is that since most buyers will take the buyback, the number of vehicles in storage will continue to grow.



Bob (not verified)    April 22, 2017 - 12:53AM

The cars on the West Coast are stored at the former GEORGE Air Force Base in Victorville CA, not "NORTON" AFB. I was there today and witnessed what I would estimate to be over 75,000 late model VW's taking up MANY acres of land.

Jeff (not verified)    October 30, 2017 - 4:56PM

In reply to by Bob (not verified)

No Sir you are wrong, there are thousands of VW and Audi cars stored at the Old Norton AFB ( now San Bernardino international airport.) I am driving around it right now 10/30/17