VW diesel owners are taking the money and running

Most folks that signed up for the Dieselgate settlement have chosen the buyback option.

Andrew Krok Reviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
Andrew Krok
2 min read
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2016 Volkswagen Golf TSI S 2-door
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2016 Volkswagen Golf TSI S 2-door

You'd probably take the buyout, too, if your only other option was to sit around and wait for a fix that may never come.

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It's been about two months since Volkswagen's $15 billion settlement was announced, and about half of the affected owners in the US have already registered with the settlement program. There are several options available to owners, but it appears that most of those owners have opted to take the money and run.

Of the 210,000 owners that have signed up to participate in the Dieselgate settlement, most have chosen the buyback route, Bloomberg reports. This means Volkswagen will take possession of the cars in exchange for a cash payout. The other option is to accept a small cash payout and wait for a fix to become available, if it ever does.

The third option, wherein buyers can opt out of the settlement and keep their cars as-is, is proving rather unpopular. Approximately 235 owners, or about 0.05 percent, have taken this route. Opting out costs VW the least money up front, but the company needs 85 percent of owners to take the fix or buyback options.

Right now, Volkswagen is working with regulators to come up with a fix that meets regulatory muster. Previous fix submissions have been denied. While owners have until September 2018 to figure out what route they want to take, the automaker must have a fix on the books in the near future in order for it to become a viable option for owners.

Bear in mind, this settlement only covers 2.0-liter diesel vehicles. The 3.0-liter engines are an entirely different story. Volkswagen is working on a fix for those cars, as well, because a buyback would be monumentally expensive -- its 2.0-liter diesels are common in economy cars, whereas its 3.0-liter diesels are found in a number of high-end sedans and crossovers.