A Volkswagen TDI owner in Portland, Oregon, who's a good friend of this site is taking us along for the ride as he prepares to sell back his 2010 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen TDI.
The car, which only has 43,000 miles on it, was purchased new from a Portland-area dealer and maintained very well.
Our owner, who we're not naming to avoid any complications with his sale back to VW, said he bought it because of the ample power and very good fuel economy—a common tale.
"I’d run my car forever if it didn’t need to get fixed," he told us. But there's no way it'll be the same car after any potential fix, he says.
"No way around that," he added. "It’s not the car I bought."
So, after diligently following the scandal news when it broke last year, our owner was among the first to raise his hand for the Goodwill Package.
VW TDI buyback Goodwill registration
"I was really proactive, keeping up on what was going on in the news," he said. Some other friends who were TDI owners remained clueless, he said.
To date, our owner said he's never received a phone call from VW, and beyond a few letters and emails, communication from the automaker has been nearly non-existent.
The most comprehensive letter he's received so far has been from the local dealer that sold him his Jetta SportWagen.
2010 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen TDI
It detailed the case and claims against Volkswagen. (We can't share that one to keep our owner's identity private for just a little longer.)
That lack of communication is one of the reasons he said he wouldn't purchase another Volkswagen with his buyback settlement.
In January, he received the Goodwill Package and his activation went off without a hitch.
VW TDI buyback Goodwill activation
"I think I stood in line longer (than the time it took) to get it activated (at the dealer)," he said.
Our owner used the $500 dealer credit to fix a major sunroof problem, but he had originally earmarked the money for a 40,000-mile service.
"It'll be their car soon; I don't care about that any more," he said.
After the settlement and buyback program was announced, our owner quickly decided to sell back his car.
VW TDI buyback registration
VW TDI buyback online claim
"Personally, I’m not that upset about the emissions," he said. "It's more about the fact that they cheated the system."
"There are more diesel pickup trucks on the road that are doing worse, but (VW) lied."
2010 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen TDI
Signing up for the buyback program was quick and easy, he said.
The online portal revealed that VW would offer him more than $13,000 for the car, and $5,600 for his part in the settlement.
VW TDI buyback offer 1
The estimate isn't entirely fair, he feels, but the settlement cash helps bring it closer to what he expected.
"I think I'm getting a little bit of the shaft on the value," he said. "They're using a trade-in value from last year, before September. I'm not trading the car in—they're buying it back."
So far, our owner says he's tentatively planning on selling back his car at the beginning of November, but that date feels very flexible.
VW TDI buyback offer 2
He said some of his friends have received hefty paperwork packages to finalize the buyback offers, but he hasn't seen his yet.
"I’ve been the one to give them more information than VW. It’s interesting to see how information is reaching people and not some other people," he said.
The lack of communication and trade-in value—not private-party value—are the reasons he's considering a different car next time around.
"Subaru are what I used to have, and they always treated me well," he said. "I think I'll give them a look next."