2015 Volkswagen Golf TDIEnlarge Photo
As part of the emission-cheating settlement announced last week, owners of Volkswagen and Audi 2.0-liter TDI diesel cars now have a choice of how to proceed.
Owners can sell their cars back to VW or see if VW can deliver on a promise that the cars will be modified to meet emissions standards, once such modifications are approved by U.S. regulators.
In either case, owners can also choose whether to take a separate cash payment in exchange for agreeing not to sue Volkswagen.
But in the nine months since news of Volkswagen's use of illegal "defeat device" software to cheat on emissions tests broke, many TDI cars have likely changed hands.
So what do owners get if they bought their cars after news of the diesel cheating scandal broke?
They'll still get the full buyback price for the car. But, they won't get the same cash payment as owners who kept their cars, Autoblog points out.
2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Street EditionEnlarge Photo
Owners who bought their cars after September 18, 2015—the day VW's emissions cheating was announced by the EPA—essentially get half the payout that would go to an owner who bought the car before that date.
The other half goes to the person who actually owned the car on September 18, who was presumably deceived and injured by VW as well.
Owners who bought before September 18 are entitled to cash payments equal to 20 percent of a car's National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) "clean value" from September 2015, plus $2,986.73.
But for owners who bought their cars after that date, the number will be 10 percent of the vehicle's value, plus $1,493.37.
The minimum payment for owners who bought their cars before the cutoff date is $5,100, versus $2,550 for owners who bought their cars after that date.
2010 Audi A3 TDIEnlarge Photo
Owners who opt for the buyback get the vehicle's full September 2015 NADA value, as well as the full amount of any restitution payments they would have received had they chosen to keep their cars and have them modified.
So owners who bought their cars after September 18, 2015, will get the full buyback value, plus $1,493.37, plus the value of the restitution payment (which will be no less than $2,550).
The details of the settlement are to be finalized July 26 in a court hearing.
Assuming no further changes are required, Volkswagen expects to begin sending out payments, and possibly modifying vehicles, this fall.