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Volkswagen and Audi ‘Clean Diesel’ Owners See Decline in Vehicle Value Following VW Emissions Recall Scandal

Used sale prices for Volkswagen and Audi "TDI Clean Diesel" models have fallen sharply in the wake of VW's admission that it lied to consumers about the performance and emissions levels of these vehicles. Volkswagen announced that it would recall about 11 million VW and Audi diesel vehicles following the disclosure that the German automaker had installed a "defeat device" on these models in order to hide their high pollution levels.
Frustrated VW and Audi owners fear that Volkswagen’s recent admissions of fraud in connection with its line of “TDI Clean Diesel” vehicle may significantly decrease the value and performance of their vehicles. Although Volkswagen has announced plans to recall nearly 500,000 VW and Audi diesel-powered vehicles in the U.S. over an emissions cheating scandal, diesel drivers worry that repairs to these vehicles may significantly decrease the performance of these cars below what they were promised by Volkswagen.

Many longtime Volkswagen buyers say that the company’s admission that it lied to consumers about the performance and fuel efficiency of these “clean diesel” models has significant
ly shaken their trust in the company. Some current VW and Audi vehicle owners say that they doubt they will purchase another vehicle manufactured by Volkswagen—diesel or otherwise—due to their lack of trust in the company following the Dieselgate scandal.

While other vehicle recalls have temporarily pushed down prices for the manufacturer’s line of cars, experts say that the effect of the emissions cheating scandal on Volkswagen may last longer because the issue affects the performance of the vehicles. The Volkswagen emissions scandal may not only lower the resale price of VW and Audi diesel-powered vehicles affected by the recall, but weaken consumer confidence in the Volkswagen brand for years to come.

Although Volkswagen says that it will eventually repair emissions problems with the recalled VW and Audi diesel models, this fix will likely mean a significant decrease in performance for these vehicles. Because the recalled “TDI Clean Diesel” models emitted pollution levels far above the EPA maximum in order to achieve higher performance, reducing the emissions levels will necessarily mean a loss in drivability.

Even as they wait for Volkswagen to announce a plan to fix the emissions issues with its “clean diesel” cars, current VW and Audi owners are already being affected by the problems with their vehicle thanks to the lower resale costs imposed by the Dieselgate scandal. Many VW and Audi owners say that they have had problems trying to sell their TDI vehicles, even after lowering the price below what they had expected to receive for the car.

Lawsuits Filed Against Volkswagen Over Dieselgate Scandal

Volkswagen announced in September 2015 that it would recall about 11 million diesel-powered vehicles worldwide, including nearly 500,000 vehicles in the U.S. The company admitted that it had installed a “defeat device” on millions of Volkswagen and Audi “TDI Clean Diesel” models. This software device enabled Volkswagen’s diesel engines to evade emissions testing limits, enabling the vehicles to pass inspection even though they emitted up to 40 times more pollutants than allowed under federal law.

The vehicles included in the Volkswagen diesel recall include the 2009-2015 VW Jetta TDI, the 2009-2014 VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI, the 2010-2015 VW Golf TDI, the 2015 VW Golf SportWagen TDI, the 2012-2015 VW Beetle TDI and Beetle Convertible TDI, the 2012-2015 VW Passat TDI, and the 2009-2015 Audi A3. Further investigation into the Volkswagen scandal may reveal that additional VW or Audi models are also affected by the diesel engine emissions issue.

Numerous commercial fraud lawsuits and class action litigation claims have already been filed against Volkswagen by VW and Audi owners nationwide. Legal experts predict that the German automaker could face billions in legal liability and EPA fines as a result of its fraudulent claims regarding the performance and emissions of the recalled TDI vehicles. Consumers who purchased or leased one of the Volkswagen or Audi “clean diesel” vehicles involved in the emissions scandal may be eligible to file a lawsuit and receive compensation for their vehicle.