Feds to VW owners: Participate in buyback program to get maximum

Lisa Lowrance of Boynton Beach has stopped driving her Volkswagen Beetle.

Lisa Lowrance of Boynton Beach has stopped driving her Volkswagen Beetle.

Consumers who lease or own Volkswagen and Audi 2.0 liter diesel cars may have heard that the company agreed to a  a settlement  with the Federal Trade Commission.

It provides up to $10 billion to compensate those consumers. VW claimed 500,000 cars had low  levels of harmful emissions, but they were actually much higher.

Did you know that VW will buy back affected cars for thousands of dollars more than their current replacement value? That’s compensation for VW’s untrue emissions claims and for the trouble of replacing the car, the FTC said Tuesday

And if environmental regulators approve a modification to the cars, people who own or lease will have the option for VW to implement the modification and get money in compensation.

If you own one of these cars, visit VWCourtSettlement.com. At the site, you can enter your car’s vehicle identification number (VIN) and find out how much you can get. Or you can call 844-98-CLAIM and ask.

It’s particularly important for you to get this information if you’re considering selling your car. Potential buyers may offer what sounds like a good deal, but it’s still less than you can get for a buyback under the FTC’s settlement with VW.

Whether it’s a private purchaser or an unscrupulous dealer, those buyers are just going to turn around and sell the car back to VW for more money through the court-approved buyback program, the FTC says.

If you participate in the buyback program, you can use the money for anything you want. You don’t even have to buy a car with it. If anyone tells you something different – for example, that you have to buy another VW or Audi car – they’re lying.

And don’t let anyone pressure you by saying you need to “Act now!” You don’t. You’ll be able to submit a buyback claim until September 1, 2018. Buybacks could start in late Fall 2016, and emissions modifications will begin once approved, so you have time to consider your decision.

If someone makes you an offer for your VW or Audi car, or suggests limits on the buyback program that don’t exist, please report them to the FTC. The FTC says it worked very hard to get a fair deal for VW and Audi owners and lessees, and it doesn’t want anyone to undermine it.

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