Volkswagen of America has admitted to being “a little bit surprised” by how many owners of cars affected by the 2.0 TDI defeat device scandal intend to have their cars fixed rather than ask the company to buy them back.
As part of a resolution agreed with the US legislators and approved last month, Volkswagen of America is offering approximately 475,000 affected customers a raft of compensation options including vehicle buybacks, lease terminations, emissions modifications and cash payments.
Owners are currently in process of submitting claims for their affected cars to Volkswagen. If all owners participate and choose either a buyback or lease termination, the cost of the resolution will set Volkswagen back more than $10bn (approximately £8bn).
According to Volkswagen of America boss Hinrich J. Woebcken, it seems that many owners are content to keep their cars. Speaking at the Los Angeles motor show, he said: “We have just passed 370,000 customers registering for the process. Uploading of their documents is the next step, so it is a little bit early to make solid predictions on this.
“What I can tell you is that compared to our own projections and estimations we were a little bit surprised how many more decided to get a fix. So it is interesting, I would even like to say good, to see that people love their TDI and want to have it fixed and get it back home.”
Woebcken wouldn’t reveal when Volkswagen of America expected to have a more definitive picture of owners’ choices. The manufacturer is obliged to remedy or buy back at least 85% of the affected vehicles and the 370,000 who have already responded represents almost 78%. “We are very optimistic that we will reach this target,” he said. “We nearly have everybody in already”.
Vehicles affected by the 2.0 TDI scandal in North America are the Volkswagen VW Beetle (model years 2013-15); Volkswagen Golf (2010-15); Volkswagen Jetta (2009-15); Volkswagen Passat (2012-15) and Audi A3 (2010-13; 2015). The settlement applies only to owners in the US with cars fitted with 2.0-litre TDI engines. Volkswagen is still working on a resolution for affected 3.0-litre vehicles.