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VW could buy back 115,000 diesels in the US

A German newspaper reports that the automaker is prepared to either buy some vehicles back, or offer new cars at hefty discounts.

Even with a hefty buyback, Volkswagen will have plenty of work to do, repairing hundreds of thousands of vehicles left on the road.
Ralf Hirschberger/dpa/Corbis

Volkswagen still doesn't have a fully fleshed-out plan for how to fix its diesel-related issues in the United States. While its affected European cars do have a remedy, it's proving tougher in the US. In fact, it may get to a point where Volkswagen would rather buy back some of the cars instead of fixing them.

Reuters reports that a German newspaper, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, spoke with inside sources that pointed to a potential buyback situation. It wouldn't cover all 600,000 or so affected vehicles in the US. Instead, the buyback would be limited to roughly 115,000 cars. In lieu of a buyback, Volkswagen could also offer significant money off the purchase of a new vehicle.

The newspaper also reports that non-buyback vehicles will be subject to "major refits," including alterations to the car's exhaust system, which would be both expensive and time-consuming. While the former might be an issue for the automaker, the latter affects the customer more than anything.

Volkswagen did not immediately return a request for comment or clarification.

The company ended up in some serious trouble after it admitted to installing software on its diesel vehicles that intentionally deceived emissions tests. After they left the testing environment, the affected diesel models would pollute well in excess of legal limits.