Volkswagen DieselGate Scandal 2015 – What You Should Know

Things to know about the Volkswagen DieselGate scandal of 2015.

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 tests than they perform under regular everyday use.

As this scandal unfolds, it’s becoming one of the auto manufacturer’s biggest deceptions in years. There will likely be fines, settlements, recalls, and several class-action lawsuits.

How Many Volkswagens?

There are around eleven million cars affected worldwide, with approximately 450,000 vehicles in the United States.

These vehicles include:

  • 2010 – 2015 Audi A3s
  • 2012 – 2015 Beetle and Beetle Convertible Models
  • 2010 – 2015 Golfs
  • 2015 – Golf Sportwagens
  • 2009 – 2015 Jettas
  • 2009 – 2014 Jetta Sportwagens
  • 2012 – 2015 Passats

If you own one of the above Volkswagen vehicles, don’t panic. Here are a few things you want to keep in mind as the situation unfolds.

Six Things to Know About the 2015 Dieselgate Scam

1) Volkswagen dealers are just as mad as you are – This scandal has affected the VW dealerships just as hard, if not more complicated, as it’s involved you.

Franchised VW dealerships are owned by business people who have invested a ton of money in becoming 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 own one of the above VW models, you can keep driving the vehicle. You’re not in 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 ordered all affected 2015 VW models on dealer lots to be held until a recall plan is approved and all affected vehicles are up to code.

4) 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?

Suppose it turns out to be a significant repair. In that case, 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, which is most likely why their in this situation today.

5) Don’t run out and sell your car – The best you can do right now is 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 now, resale values are dropping quickly, and many 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.

We understand that the government will approve a fix, which 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 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 to bring the vehicle to a local dealer for repair.

Be aware that you may receive correspondence from other dealers, scammers, or con artists. If you receive an offer that seems too good to be true or doesn’t sound right, contact your local Volkswagen dealer for confirmation or verification.

You will most likely receive several offers to participate 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.

Competition Always Gets You the Best Price

When negotiating a new car’s price, it’s essential to know the dealer’s new car cost and what other people are paying for the exact vehicle in your local area.

Otherwise, you won’t know what’s a reasonable price to pay for the vehicle. I highly recommend using an online referral service such as Ryde Shopper and Motor Trend; their quotes will automatically include any current discounts or cash-back incentives.

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 considering buying or leasing a new car or truck.

About the author
Carlton Wolf is the author and founder of Auto Cheat Sheet.My name is Carlton Wolf, and I’ve been in the car business since 1994, both retail and wholesale. I created the Auto Cheat Sheet to better educate buyers about the deceptive sales practices used by many dealerships throughout the country. Please understand that not all car dealers are dishonest. However, you never know who you’ll be dealing with, though. I’m willing to share my knowledge and experience with anyone who listens. Keep in mind that I’m a car guy, not a writer.