The public, both here in the U.S. and around the world, have been waiting for months to hear what Volkswagen intends to do to address the mounting scandal associated with the software it designed to cheat emissions tests. Engineers with the automaker have been busy testing and re-testing various approaches to solve the problem, including physical repairs and software patches. The problem is that the suggested fixes keep getting rejected by American regulators, forcing the company to continually go back to the drawing board.
As a bit of background, the current emissions scandal relates to a few different engines, including a 2.0 liter and 3.0 liter diesel. The latest fix tested by VW engineers would cost the company more than $2,000 per car, something that does not make economic sense for some of the older, first generation 2.0 liter models. The engines in these vehicles date as far back as 2009 and the company appears to have decided that spending $2,000 per vehicle would not make sense given the age and likely diminished value of the cars.
As a result, the company intends to start the process of buying back first generation 2.0 liter diesel models. Before consumers rejoice, we should explain that the buy back will currently only apply to certified pre-owned models that are owned by dealerships. VW has taken this step because the dealers are stuck with cars they are legally prevented from selling, with a stop-sale order issued by U.S. regulators that shows no sign of being lifted. In an attempt to help out the beleaguered dealers (and save the company money on costly repairs), VW will take this group of impacted vehicles off their hands.
According to those in the know, later model vehicles that are outfitted with more modern engines and emissions control systems will likely be fixed rather than bought back. After all, buying back the more than 575,000 vehicles impacted by the recall would be prohibitively expensive, much less than the cost of repair.
The question that the latest revelation invites is what will happen to cars owned by consumers? The buy back applies only to those cars on dealers’ lots, what about those in people’s driveways and garages? Experts wonder if this is the first step in VW buying back some of the hundreds of thousands of impacted cars in the U.S. The answer will ultimately depend on how quickly and cheaply engineers can address the problem and whether this fix is deemed sufficient by government regulators.
If you have a vehicle that is subject to the recall, please call Kilpatrick & Philley for a free consultation. We have experience in pursuing claims such as that subject recall as we have been active in the BP litigation as well as other Mass Tort claims. Please let our friendly staff of attorneys help with your claim.