How to Cash in on Volkswagen’s $14.7 Billion Settlement

For all those scorned by Volkswagen, relief is on the way

If you’re the (not so) proud owner of a late model Volkswagen, you have some money coming your way. It’s not quite good karma; it’s payback from Volkswagen for installing “defeat devices” on almost half a million diesel cars they sold in the U.S. that allowed them to pass emissions tests even though they were seriously fouling the air.

After the company’s subterfuge was revealed on September 18, 2015, VW went about working out a massive settlement with the government and car owners. The recently revealed results total $14.7 billion in compensation, with $10 billion going to owners and buyback programs to get the smoggy cars off the road.

While the settlement is mostly a done deal, we’re currently in a public comment period. That means you can air your grievances about the settlement (see link below), but it also means reimbursements won’t be distributed until October at the earliest. Here’s who is entitled to some bucks and what they may get back.

The cheat involved 460,000 VW models—2013 to 2015 Beetles, 2010 to 2015 Golfs, 2009 to 2015 Jettas, and 2012 to 2015 Passat, according to NBC News. Another 15,000 Audis were involved; the 2010-13 and 2015 Audi A3.

Volkwagen, pressured by authorities, hopes to buy back most of the cars to get the polluters off the road. That doesn’t mean you have to sell your car back, but you’ll probably be outfitted with some technology in the future that will make your car less toxic. Every owner of the aforementioned car will receive between $5,100 and $10,000 in diminished car value.

If you decide to sell your car:
After the legal settlement is finalized, hopefully in the fall, VW hopes to finalize all buybacks within 90 days. The purchase prices will reflect the value of the car before the scandal broke on September 18, with amounts ranging between $12,500 to $44,000. If you sold your car after September 18, you’re still entitled to the diminished value reimbursement, but the money will be split between you and the new owner.

For more info, head to