Volkswagen May Buy Back One-Fifth of the Dieselgate-Affected Vehicles in the U.S.

Volkswagen USA 1 photo
Photo: Friso Gentsch
After earlier this week the U.S. Justice Department sued the German automaker for up to $48 billion, now Volkswagen is thinking to buy back no less than 115,000 U.S. cars affected by the real emissions scandal.
The Wolfsburg-based company has to choose from a number of solutions, such as refunding the purchase price of about a fifth of the 580,000 diesel cars affected or offering a new one at a significant discount.

As for the rest of the vehicles, Volkswagen presumes they will need major refits, which will mean enormous costs for parts and a lot of time spent in the garage because a big part of the car’s exhaust must be rebuilt and then approved.

The company will have to decide very soon what happens next, because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently stated that it didn’t reach an agreement with Volkswagen yet and insisted that the automaker find effective remedies as fast as possible.

Volkswagen’s employees also want to give a helping hand, as according to Sueddeutsche Zeitung, 50 workers, including several division heads, came up with ideas to help the company surpass what is probably the biggest scandal in its history.

Although $48 billion is a lot of money, based on previous similar situations, this sum might get smaller at the end of penance. A few years ago, Japanese manufacturer Toyota was also sued for up to $58 billion for violating the Clean Air Act, but in the end the carmaker had to pay only $34 million.

Also, in 2014, Hyundai and Kia paid $100 million to the U.S., for violating the same environmental act.

After the University of West Virginia, the EPA, and the California Air Resources Board informed about discovering higher emission levels in certain Volkswagen diesel cars, back in 2014, the German company admitted to having installed a special software in a number of cars sold in the U.S.. This allowed them to pass government emissions tests, while emitting up to 40 times the permitted levels of NOx in real world driving.
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