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VW Owners Are Stripping Cars Before the Buyback

The buyback only stipulates that the car has to be “operable.”

In one of the biggest automotive scandals of the past two years, Volkswagen misrepresented the emissions standards on its turbo diesel engines and, when busted, were forced to settle with TDI owners for a stupid amount of money.

The $14.7 billion settlement, the biggest of its kind and very consumer-oriented, has VW buying back vehicles at their trade-in value from Sept. 18, 2015, which is just before the scandal broke. But the owners will also receive restitution of between $5,100 and $9,900 depending on mileage, features, and age.

But some VW diesel owners are finding further ways to line their pockets in advance to turning their cars in for a buyback. Jalopnik is reporting that many are actually stripping their cars because… why not? The buyback only stipulates that the car has to be “operable,” so scores of TDI owners are taking everything that’s not nailed down, either to sell, upgrade their other Volkswagen models, or just because they’re disgruntled and want to pay back the company who tricked them.

So, what will VW do with all these TDIs with no mirrors, jacks, headlights, floor mats, visors, radios, or seats? They have a few legal options. They can modify and resell them as used cars (if approved), with proper disclosure to the buyer; export them for resale abroad; or render them inoperable and recycle or salvage them for parts.

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