A federal judge is not happy with a handful of Volkswagen TDI diesel vehicles who’ve apparently been stripping their vehicles of parts before a buyback. Not only that but at least one Golf owner is bragging about it on social media.
In a recent settlement, VW agreed to buyback diesel vehicles that don’t meet U.S. emissions standards. But wording in the $14.7 billion deal is problematic because it just requires the returned vehicles be “operable.”
As we talked about on the Car Pro Show recently, owners have gone so far as to remove seats, air bags, interior trim, exterior lighting, electronics and other components that they deem unnecessary for the vehicle to be considered legally “operable.”
For one Reddit user, “operable” meant opportunity. Running under the Reddit username ‘Tacoboutnachos’ he posts about stripping his Golf down before selling it back. He took off the front fascia “for a friend.”
VW attorney Robert Giuffra is asking Judge Breyer “to advise class members if they wish to receive settlement benefits, they should not engage in deliberate part stripping.” So the judge is warning owners they need to sell back their TDIs in the same condition that they have been driving them.
Some dealers have refused to accept the cars in this state, while apparently others have not made an issue of it.