VW Buyback Plan Seems More Likely As Company Struggles To Find Fix For Emission-Cheating Vehicles

Since Volkswagen admitted last year to using “defeat devices” in certain cars to cheat on emissions tests, some owners and consumer advocates have pushed for the carmaker to buy back affected vehicles from customers. VW had resisted this idea, but without any other resolution in the offing, a mass buyback offer is beginning to look possible.

The New York Times reports that a lawyer for the carmaker made statements during a court hearing last week that suggest a buyback campaign may be inevitable.

While Robert Giuffra, a lawyer defending Volkswagen against class-action suits by owners of tainted diesel vehicles, noted that the company could find a solution to the defeat devices eventually, the buyback would be implemented because of timing.

“And for some of the vehicles it may well be that the timing is too far into the future,” he said during the hearing. “So we might have to do a buyback or some sort of solution like that for some subset of the vehicles, but that hasn’t been determined yet.”

VW, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the California Air Resources Board are currently in discussions on ways to resolve the emissions issues plaguing more than 500,000 vehicles in the U.S. and 11 million worldwide.

The idea of a buyback program may seem more realistic now, just weeks after CARB rejected VW’s recall plan for thousands of 2-liter vehicles sold in the state.

Specifically, the 2-liter vehicle remedy proposal failed to adequately identify and describe the affected vehicles; provide a sufficient method for obtaining owners’ names, address, and related information; describe the remedial procedure for affected vehicles; contain the impact of proposed fixes on fuel economy, drivability, performance, and safety, among other things.

The Times reports that the company is still working to find a solution for vehicles in the U.S., but it started making fixes to vehicles affected in Europe this week.

However, those remedies won’t work stateside, as emissions limited on nitrogen oxide are stricter in the U.S.

Volkswagen May Buy Back Diesel Cars It Can’t Fix [The New York Times]

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