FTC warns of VW diesel buyback deception


Assuming final approval of the VW diesel settlement agreement, owners of Volkswagen and Audi 2.0-liter TDI diesel engine vehicles will be able to sell the vehicle back to VW for more than its current replacement value, without obligation to spend that settlement on another vehicle. Even though the buybacks will not begin until, potentially, late fall, the Federal Trade Commission is already fighting the battle of deception.

Concerned that consumers may be taken advantage of, the FTC has issued a warning about deceptive purchasing or sales practices that could surround the VW diesel buyback agreement. Advertising already has begun to lure VW owners into auto dealerships or to private purchasers to sell their vehicle – at less than the price offered via the settlement. Those purchasers would profit by returning the vehicle during the official buyback period for the full settlement price.

The FTC also warned of pressure tactics designed to force a VW owner to buy a specific vehicle with the settlement or act quickly to avoid missing out on the buyback. There are no restrictions on the settlement - the money can be used for anything. VW owners have until September 1, 2018 to determine if they want to participate in the buyback program or have VW modify the vehicle – assuming a modification is approved.

In light of false websites capitalizing on the VW agreement, the FTC is encouraging VW owners to verify eligibility on the official website – VWCourtSettlement.com. The site provides a vehicle identification number verification and lists official buyback amounts.

Image:  Autoweek.

FTC Media Release