Where do bought-back VW diesels go? Dead NFL stadiums, among other places


Volkswagen TDI diesel cars stored at Pontiac Silverdome (Photo by Jalopnik)

Volkswagen TDI diesel cars stored at Pontiac Silverdome (Photo by Jalopnik)

Enlarge Photo

When news of its diesel-emissions cheating broke last September, Volkswagen issued a stop-sale order for affected TDI diesel cars.

Now that a settlement for 2.0-liter TDI models has been approved, the automaker is also beginning to buy back cars with illegal "defeat device" software from customers.

But what happens to all of these cars once they are bought back?

DON'T MISS: VW settles diesel cheating cases: felony pleas, $4.3 billion fines

They get stockpiled in out-of-the-way locations across the country, apparently.

VW is currently storing diesel cars at an abandoned NFL stadium, a decommissioned Air Force base, as well as the port area of Baltimore, Maryland, according to Jalopnik.

A Volkswagen spokesperson told the website that these vehicles are being held "until it is determined whether an approved emissions modification becomes available."

Volkswagen TDI diesel cars stored at Pontiac Silverdome (Photo by Jalopnik)

Volkswagen TDI diesel cars stored at Pontiac Silverdome (Photo by Jalopnik)

Enlarge Photo
So far, modifications have only been approved only for TDI diesel cars from the 2015 model year, fitted with the newer new "EA288" 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbodiesel engine.

Those cars represent only a portion of the vehicles currently sitting in at least three U.S. storage facilities.

One is the Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan, which previously housed the Detroit Lions football team.

ALSO SEE: Emission updates for 2015 VW, Audi 2.0-liter TDI diesels OKed by regulators

The building itself is currently abandoned and decaying, while its massive parking lot houses hundreds of Volkswagen diesel cars.

The cars are packed in bumper-to-bumper, in what is normally a vacant space.

Volkswagen diesels are also stored at Norton Air Force Base in California, which has been decommissioned for over 20 years and is now part of San Bernardino International Airport.

Volkswagen TDI diesel cars stored at Pontiac Silverdome (Photo by Jalopnik)

Volkswagen TDI diesel cars stored at Pontiac Silverdome (Photo by Jalopnik)

Enlarge Photo
A Jalopnik reader estimated that there were "thousands" of California-plated cars stored at the base, noting windshield markings recognizable from when he turned in his own VW TDI car.

A third storage location for bought-back Volkswagen diesels is the city of Baltimore.

MORE: VW diesel buyback advice: don't strip parts off your car first, judge warns (Dec 2016)

Another Jalopnik reader claims to have found five storage lots for TDI cars in the city's port area, with bumper stickers and other personalized touches, as well as the presence of older models, indicating that the stored cars were indeed bought back.

Even if modifications are improved for all affected VW 2.0-liter TDI cars, the majority of owners are expected to take buybacks.

Which means lots like these will likely continue to grow in size as the cars await their fate.

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