2014 Volkswagen Beetle TDIEnlarge Photo
Yesterday, Volkswagen told owners of its 2009-2015 TDI diesel vehicles to search online to see if their cars will need to be recalled.
And it's already announced a recall of 8.5 million diesel models in Europe.
But until the formal announcement of a recall for the 482,000 diesel cars in the U.S. with emissions-cheating software, owners on this side of the Atlantic are in limbo.
While VW works on fixes, owners are stuck with cars that are steadily losing value, reports Reuters.
Volkswagen has not said what changes will be required to bring cars into compliance with emissions standards, but both hardware and software alterations may be required, depending on the model.
In the meantime, there are already signs that value of the affected models--which span model years 2009 through 2015--are slipping significantly.
2014 Volkswagen Passat TDIEnlarge Photo
The price of used VW TDI diesel models sold at auction by dealers to other dealers dropped 6.5 percent between September 1 and October 9, according to Edmunds.
The average price of these cars fell from $11,319 to $10,586 on September 18--the day the scandal broke.
Swapalease.com--which allows customers to transfer leases among themselves--recorded a 50 percent drop in Volkswagen transactions for October so far, for both gasoline and diesel models.
And while owners face uncertainty about the fate of their cars, Volkswagen faces uncertainty about whether those same owners will cooperate with its plans to implement fixes.
Anticipating drops in performance or fuel economy, some owners may resist having their cars fixed, according to The New York Times.
Neither the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency nor automakers can force owners to repair their vehicles.
2015 Volkswagen Golf TDIEnlarge Photo
Some states require cars to pass periodic emissions tests, but these are generally less sophisticated than the EPA testing regimen, said John German, senior fellow at the International Council on Clean Transportation, which helped discover VW's emissions cheating.
Any delinquent Volkswagen diesels that are not fixed are sure to pass these state tests, German said.
That means owners who have no interest in selling their cars may simply avoid getting them fixed--regardless of the potential environmental consequences.
Volkswagen may have to offer owners incentives to get their cars into dealers' service bays.
2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Street EditionEnlarge Photo
General Motors, for example, offered $25 gift cards last year to owners of cars involved in a massive recall for defective ignition switches.
But some Volkswagen owners have also said they just want VW to buy their cars back.
Volkswagen has set aside $7.3 billion to deal with the entirety of the diesel-emissions scandal.
The average completion rate of recall repairs on vehicles in the U.S. is 75 percent over 18 months, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.