Recently the CEO of Volkswagen, Dr. Martin Winterkorn resigned following the allegations that VW was rigging its cars to perform differently during clean air emission test than they perform under every day normal use. As this scandal unfolds it's turning into one of the biggest deceptions by an auto manufacturer in years. There will most likely be fines, settlements, recalls and several class action lawsuits to follow.
There are around eleven million cars affected worldwide with approximately 450,000 vehicles in the United states. These vehicles include:
If you own one of the above Volkswagen vehicles, don't panic...Here's a few things you want to keep in mind as the situation continues to unfold.
1) Volkswagen Dealers are Just as Mad as You are - This scandal has affected the VW dealerships just as hard, if not harder, as it's affected you. Franchised VW dealerships are owned by business people who have invested a ton of money to become the local Volkswagen dealer. This kind of publicity doesn't make life any easier to sell more cars.
2) It's not a Safety Related Problem - If you happen to own one of the above VW models, you can keep driving the vehicle. You're not in any danger since this is an emissions problem and not a safety related issue. At this time, there's no reason for you to contact your local dealer, there is not a formal recall or fix out from the manufacturer.
3) You Can't Buy a VW Clean Diesel Now - The federal government and California have denied certification of the 2016 Volkswagen vehicles pending the ongoing investigation. They've also ordered all affected 2015 VW models currently on dealer lots to be held until a recall plan has been approved and all the affected cars have been brought up to compliance.
4) Just Might Be a Simple Fix - With this being an emissions issue, it may or may not be a simple fix. For VW to bring the car into compliance, they may only have to reprogram some software, replace an engine control module or rewrite some code. The question with these simple fixes is, how will this affect the vehicle's performance?
If it's a turns out to be a major repair, VW may have to equip the vehicles with an expensive system called a urea injection with an auxiliary tank and additional hardware for the engine. Volkswagen avoided this when first certifying its clean diesel technology because of the cost, most likely why there in this situation today.
5) Don't Run Out and Sell Your Car - The best you can do right now is to sit back and hold on to your vehicle, you have a better chance of making more money from the sale of your car in the future than you do right in the middle of the scandal unfolding. With all the bad publicity VW is receiving at the moment, resale values are dropping quickly and a lot of dealers won't take a VW on trade until they understand what the future holds for them. As for the long term, nobody knows at this time. What we do know is the government will approve a fix and it will either affect the fuel economy or performance of the diesel (or both).
If Volkswagen cannot fix the emissions issue without a significant drop in the vehicle's fuel economy or performance, you can expect resale values to fall much further.
6) Keep an Eye on your Mailbox - If you currently own one of the affected vehicles, you will start getting things in the mail. Once the recall has been approved, you'll get a notice in the mail informing you bring the vehicle to a local dealer for the repair. Be aware, you may receive mail from other dealers, scammers or con artists. If you receive an offer that seems too good to be true or just doesn't sound right, contact your local Volkswagen dealer for confirmation or verification.
You will most likely receive several offers to take part in any number of the various class action lawsuits. Any settlements may take months, or even years, to reach. Once they do they'll most likely come in the form of a discount incentive from VW on a new car, or be as bold as to have a buyback program or cash payment offered to all current owners.
When negotiating a new car's price, it's important to know the dealer invoice price and what other people are paying for the same vehicle in your local area. Otherwise, you won't know what's a good price to pay for the vehicle. I highly recommend using an online referral service such as TrueCar or CarClearanceDeals, their quotes will automatically include any discounts or cash-back incentives currently available.
In addition, the above sites will tell you which dealerships in your local area are currently the most flexible with their new car pricing. These sites provide valuable information for anyone thinking about buying or leasing a new car or truck.
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