Earlier this afternoon we ran a story on Volkswagen’s ongoing diesel woes and its imminent (April 21) deadline for reaching an agreement with the EPA. In that story, we noted that early rumors pointed to a $5,000 cash offer for VW owners, a payout that would total some $2.5 billion dollars provided the company covered all of the half-million vehicles currently on the road.
That rumor came to us courtesy of Reuters, who has also just reported that Volkswagen will actually offer to buy back nearly 500,000 US cars. It’s not clear that the two reports are actually in conflict, because the details of both have been extremely vague. Volkswagen will reportedly offer some kind of user compensation fund, might cover future repairs for free if the EPA actually approves any of its proposed fixes, and will reportedly offer an additional cash value over and above the estimated price of the car. Vehicle prices will be calculated at their estimated value prior to the September 2015 announcement that wiped billions off VW’s stock valuation and sent resale value plunging.
The one thing I’d take away from these separate announcements is that the plan is likely complex, multifaceted, and tailored to apply to specific vehicles and scenarios. It won’t be surprising if the company has reached different solutions for different groups of customers, particularly those that have different engine types.
As of this writing, nobody knows for certain what’s going on, and trying to keep abreast of the rumors could give you whiplash.