A day after Volkswagen’s dieselgate scandal (U.S. edition) hit, my former charges at Thetruthaboutcars started to add-up the possible cost of bringing an affected VW in compliance – a frivolous undertaking, given the fact that back on September 22, nobody except a couple of rogue coders had heard of a defeat device, not to mention the fact that the BOM list and number of work-hours remain a mystery to this day. Then, TTAC wrote that “any sort of recall repair work would need to be weighed against the cost for VW to buy back its own cars.” With that, they hit pay-dirt. Buy back is what Volkswagen is going to do.
Volkswagen is considering to take back dieselgate-affected VW’s, writes Spiegel magazine. Of course, there are a few catches. It’s only the cars where a simple reflash won’t do. And it won’t be for cash. VW may offer to take the cars as (generous) trades, assuming that people are not completely disgusted, and still want to drive a Volkswagen.
A Volkswagen spokesman, asked by Der Spiegel, tried to play down the story, claiming that it is “part of daily business” to make generous trade-in offers. However, a VW manager confronted with the project by Dailykanban, said:
“I can’t remember that we ever did anything like that during a recall.”
Don’t run to your dealer just yet, the matter is still under consideration. But it becomes increassingly likely.
The exact cost of a hardware solution is still unknown, despite the fact that TTAC had an exact tally a month ago. All we know is that the number is big and painful. On cars without urea-gadgetry, it will have to be added. That means a tank for what essentially is corrosive cat pee. A hole has to be cut into the body, a filler neck needs to be installed, hoses need to be pulled. Then comes the fact that with the dense packaging of modern cars, nobody really knows where to put all that stuff.
But what to do with the millions of cars that are being traded-in? TTAC reader kvndooms said “VW’s best bet is to ship those cars to a country where they can be sold legally… if such a country exists.” Paydirt, again. Writes Der Spiegel:
“Volkswagen could sell the cars outside of the EU, for instance in Turkey, or in Africa. Really old cars will land in the shredder.”