Volkswagen May Buy Back 100,000 Diesel Cars in U.S.
German Newspaper Reported Rumor Last Week
Without citing sources, a German newspaper reported December 31 that Volkswagen expects to buy back more than 100,000 TDI-powered vehicles in the U.S. affected by the company’s diesel emissions cover-up and subsequent scandal. According to Reuters, the report appearing in Sueddeutsche Zeitung indicated the company would either have to refund the purchase price of those vehicles or offer a new car at a significant discount.
At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), VW executive Herbert Deiss expressed confidence that the company would find an acceptable solution but didn’t elaborate if that solution would include buybacks, recall repairs, or a mix of the two. The company has acknowledged that bringing older versions of the 2.0L TDI diesel I-4 (codenamed EA189) into compliance is more difficult than newer versions (EA288).
According to Reuters, company CEO Matthias Mueller will soon meet with the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Gina McCarthy, to discuss how to best handle the situation with Volkswagen’s emissions scandal. Earlier this week, the agency announced that Volkswagen hadn’t yet produced an “acceptable way forward” to reduce the emissions of the affected TDI vehicles. The meeting came at the request of Volkswagen, according to the EPA.
As Deiss said in his CES keynote address, although Volkswagen’s European Union–market cars are ready for repairs that allegedly won’t affect vehicle performance or fuel economy, the EPA is presenting unique challenges for the company’s U.S.-market vehicles thanks to its more stringent nitrogen regulations and easier carbon emissions requirements.