What the VW Diesel Settlement Means to TDI Owners

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Diesel-engined cars sold by Volkswagen and Audi have been embroiled in a scandal since September 2015 over emissions-cheating software installed to pass U.S. regulations. And since then, customers have been in midair over what happens to their cars next. Now we know.

What is the ruling?

A settlement announced June 28 in a California court was agreed upon by several U.S. government agencies, owners who participated in a class-action lawsuit against VW and the company itself. Terms will be finalized in July, but right now there is some relief for owners of VW and Audi cars equipped with a 2.0-liter TDI engine that was discovered by researchers and regulators to be far exceeding NOx (nitrous oxide) emissions standards in the original EPA tests.

Is my diesel Volkswagen affected?

The models affected are the following VW and Audi vehicles sold in the U.S.:

2009-2015 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
2009-2014 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI
2010-2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI
2010-2013 and 2015 Audi A3 TDI
2012-2015 Volkswagen Passat TDI
2013-2015 Volkswagen Beetle TDI

In a press release, Volkswagen of America says of the approximately 499,000 of these vehicles built, there are 460,000 of the VWs and 15,000 Audi A3 TDIs still on U.S. roads. Use the VW of America website (https://www.vwcourtsettlement.com/en/) and punch your VIN in to make sure your car is included in the settlement.

What if I drive a TDI that isn’t listed?

If you have a VW Touareg TDI; Audi A6, A7, A8, Q5 or Q7 TDI; or Porsche Cayenne Diesel, your vehicle has a 3.0-liter V6 engine that’s covered under a separate investigation. That settlement is still pending.

What happens if I bought one of these cars, but sold it?

While these models have been removed from VW and Audi used lots since Sept. 18, 2015, it’s been possible to buy these through a private party and take them in as a trade. Buyers who did so between then and June 27, 2016 are eligible to get a payment from VW.

Despite the scandal, I love my TDI and want to keep it. Can I?

The settlement includes a provision for owners who want to hold out for a fix, and they too will get cash compensation from VW.

What’s less certain, however, is what the fix will be and how it will affect performance and economy. It will also depend on what model and year you’re driving, although it’s fair to say the 2015s will likely be affected less by a fix than the earlier models.

How much money can I get from VW?

It absolutely depends on how old your car is, what options it has, how many miles and what it was worth back in September 2015 before the emissions issue sent resale values plunging.

A full range of values provided by NADA Used Car Guide were released with the settlement, but here are some examples:

At the low end, a 2009 Jetta TDI Sedan would be worth between $12,475 and $14,025 in the buyback, or $5,100 in compensation cash if you choose to fix.

A 2010 Jetta TDI SportWagen ranges from $14,775 – $16,607 or $5,100-$5,257 with a fix.

A 2013 Passat SE TDI goes from $21,587-$24,257 or $6,087 – $6,532.

And at the high end, a 2015 Audi A3 TDI Prestige is worth between $39,076 – $44,176 in buyback or $9,002 to $9,852 for the fix.

Those who have been leasing a TDI will get cash compensation, too, if they wish and can visit the VW website to find out how much.

When will I get this money?

If the settlement is finalized in July, VW is expected to start contacting customers and rolling out the cash starting in the fall. The fix is still pending approval from regulators, so there’s no timeline now on that.

Can I buy a new TDI if I trade in my old one?

Not yet, and there has been no indication as to when. It’s most likely pending the yet-to-be-determined fix and if that can be retrofitted into the latest versions of the 2.0-liter TDI. But the stop-sale that’s been in effect since September 2015 shows no sign of letting up soon.

Other automakers are still planning to sell diesel cars and light-duty trucks in the U.S., however. BMW and Mercedes-Benz still sell diesel cars and SUVs, General Motors sells the diesel Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups and will soon sell a diesel Chevrolet Cruze again.

Shopping for a used car? Start your search with CARFAX Used Car Listings, where every car comes with a free CARFAX Vehicle History Report. Also, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

By | 2018-02-13T20:52:49+00:00 June 29th, 2016|Model News|7 Comments


  1. ann cadavona July 12, 2016 at 11:03 pm - Reply

    I bought a new golf TDI in 2013. After finding out that it had cheated the emission test, I feel so guilty driving around knowing that it emitted over 40 times the allowed limit by laws. I traded in my car this past October at the VW dealer because I don’t want to drive it any more because of the emission and felt there would not be anyone who would want to buy it. I got a golf GTI. I really missed my TDI though. I didn’t get a lot for the trade in so I was wondering if I will be getting any payment from this settlement.

  2. K. M. RIPPETOE August 4, 2016 at 7:43 pm - Reply


  3. Larry E. & Sheila M. Williams August 9, 2016 at 12:38 pm - Reply

    We traded our 2011 VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI on 30 June 2015 to purchase a new 2015 Golf Sportwagen TDI. Is our former 2011 TDI eligible for any of the money which is to refunded this fall?

  4. Chad August 21, 2016 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    Does anyone know where you can find the NADA guides from September 2015? The numbers the settlement is using make zero sense.

  5. Monique Pelletier September 1, 2016 at 1:13 pm - Reply

    I have a 2013 TDI VW Touareg. I don’t see it on the settlement list. What is the deal with that?

  6. Derrick September 27, 2016 at 12:05 am - Reply

    Why not just refund the full amount owners paid in good faith for these cars, take the cars back to Germany and be done with it. No car left behind to further pollute the environment. In this way, the owners will be able to get a new car and not be set back financially with another car note?

  7. Subber November 8, 2016 at 2:34 pm - Reply

    Must have had it put to me back in June 2015 when I bought my 2012 Passat SEL. Paid over $20k w/47k+ miles and now nada says the Sept. 2015 value was only $17k+, and this was a CPO car: buyback just under $24k. Not much compensation for all the hassle.

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