U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer of San Francisco, CA has ordered Volkswagen to fix 600,000 affected diesel vehicles by March 24th, but the company admits that it may be unable to come up with a solution in time. The lack of a full fix may not affect vehicle ownership, but it also may not help the owners’ already dire situation. While Volkswagen confessed to programming approximately 11 million of its diesel vehicles worldwide to cheat on emissions tests last September, the brand may face bigger impacts besides brand image in the coming months as the courts step in.
VW Chief Executive Officer Matthias Mueller commented that executing such a fix may take months more than mandated. To add to this pressing situation, the same multidistrict litigation (MDL) that Judge Breyer is overseeing demands VW to buy back the affected vehicles and the U.S. Justice Department had sued VW in January for up to $46 billion
In an effort to prepare for these financial blows and the many more to come from other litigations in the U.S. and internationally, VW has already announced it:
- had reduced its annual capital expenditure by $1.07 billion,
- plans on cutting back or cancelling non-essential projects to accommodate the impact, and
- will set aside $7.3 billion dedicated to fixing the affected vehicles, though the potential $64 billion lawsuit may force the German manufacturer to reconsider its U.S. marketing viability.
Should VW TDI owners sell their cars?
Currently, owners of the affected TDI vehicles may be experiencing valuation problems over functional ones. The performance of the vehicles are not affected by the technical issue that the scandal is centered upon according to Green Car Reports, but the fallout of the scandal may drastically endanger the resale value and legalities for the vehicles’ owners.
The long-standing resale value of diesels may take a hit, though, as the affected vehicles would currently still need to meet certain emissions standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to even be considered legal to sell or register.
As things stand, VW Diesel owners cannot sell any affected diesel vehicles in the U.S. until the emissions problem has been fixed. This makes the emissions solution, which is still being sought, all the more pressing for owners. VW must either come up with an acceptable “fix” solution for owners’ vehicles or consider a “buyback” solution.
What happens if VW can’t fix the problem?
Neither CARB nor VW’s lawyers think that the German company will meet the deadline, so the question seems likely to be whether an extension will be granted, a partial solution will be accepted, or (even less likely) VW will be forced into some California buyback scenario.
Todd Sax, CARB’s enforcement division’s chief, believes that VW will not be able to come up with a full fix for about 580,000 affected vehicles in the U.S. before the March 24th deadline simply because of the sheer number of vehicles involved and the strict U.S. emission standards they would need to meet. There is still hope for owners that their vehicles will remain road-legal, though.
“We will have to decide what the best approach is to dealing with these vehicles, and one of the options potentially would be to accept something less than a full fix,” Sax said. VW would have to pay a fine along with supplying the vehicles with the partial fix to offset the environmental impact. The partial fix may not affect the vehicles’ performance—though there is a chance it could—but it could still impact their value to the owners as previously stated.
Are you affected by the Diesel Scandal?
It will still be a long time before the fallout of its diesel scandal is over and many more lawsuits are likely to rise up. Here is a list of all of the affected diesel vehicle models:
- Audi A3 (2010-2015)
- Audi A6 Quattro (2014-2016)
- Audi A7 Quattro (2014-2016)
- Audi A8/A8L (2014-2016)
- Audi Q5 (2014-2016)
- Audi Q7 (2009-2016)
- Porsche Cayenne (2014-2016)
- Volkswagen Beetle & Beetle Convertible (2013-2015)
- Volkswagen Golf (2010-2015)
- Volkswagen Golf SportWagen (2015)
- Volkswagen Jetta & Jetta SportWagen (2009-2014)
- Volkswagen Passat (2012-2015)
- Volkswagen Touareg (2009-2016)
If you own any of these diesel vehicle models, your vehicle’s value could be jeopardized and you may be eligible for legal action. Find out what you can do and what compensation you’re entitled to by contacting a local experienced attorney to have your case reviewed.