As are a lot of people in Canada who own a VW TDI.
Warning: Long rant ahead with boring mathematics.
In July 2014 I traded in my RAV4 for a brand new 2014 VW Golf Wagon TDI I did this for a variety of reasons, I wanted a lower roof line to make it easier for loading the canoe or Kayak (getting old sucks) but the biggest reason was for the gas mileage of having a diesel.
You can read all about the purchase here – https://canadianloon.blogspot.ca/2014/07/and-more-changes.html
I was a seriously happy camper. My dealer has been first rate with maintenance and overall the car has been very good. My only issues have been stone chips to the windshield (this thing is a rock magnet) and wearing through the tires quicker then I had hoped. But man this thing saved me money. By my math, around 1500 per year in fuel alone. And on top of that, it’s fun to drive.
Sept 2015, VW gets nailed for cheating on emission testing. Now regardless if I agree with this or not (while I sit behind a dump truck spewing black smoke) the fact is, they cheated and they lied. My car is not good for the environment like they said it was. The only right thing is to fix it or buy it back. That that is what VW set out to do.
Naturally they did the US first, cause if they didn’t they would have their ass sued to the max. Compensation down there looked pretty good but to be honest I never really followed it.
Now it’s Canada’s turn. After 1.5 years of waiting for VW and the Canadian courts to get their shit together (delay after delay) the settlement comes down. Without having hard numbers, reading it looked decent although I had a bit of a sinking feeling.
This week, VW launched the portal to make your claim. This is the first time I’ve been able to get hard numbers. Holy shit. I figured I must have did it wrong, did it again, still shit. In the end, I’m getting fucked. And after hitting the VW Facebook Forum, oh my, people are seriously pissed off!
My scenario. 2014 I trade in my 2010 Rav 4 on the car. I got near 15k for the trade in, about middle of the road for a 4 year old SUV. The car with the options I wanted was $31255.00 MSRP so after taxes and freight and pdi and admin and a partridge in a pear tree the whole thing came to just under 34k. But to get a diesel you do pay a bit more to save money in the long run. With the trade in, the payments were minimal.
Now here is the part that PISSES ME RIGHT OFF. The scandal breaks 14 months later. Not years later, just 14 tiny months later. They now calculate the value of the car BEFORE the scandal hits and average the km’s of the 3 years since I have owned it. VW says that my car 14 months after purchase (of 31k MSRP) is $19,100.00. They are saying that my car, a highly rated top TDI VW, depreciated $12000.00 in 14 months. BULL FUCKING SHIT! If we could rewind time I can guarantee you that you could not find a 1 year old TDI on any used market with only 20,000 kms on it for 19k. Turns out, VW is giving us WHOLESALE book value for the car and not retail. They are also putting km’s into the mix by averaging the past 3 years and not looking at things like service records. So those people who parked their VW’s after the scandal hit are getting more value.
So you take the value they are giving me for the car, add the “we are sorry money” they are giving (for me it’s $5950.00) and then subtract the remainder of the loan, $12734.00 and I’m going to get a cheque for $12366.00. WTF? Before this scandal a 3 year old TDI wagon sold for a lot more then 12.3k. In the USA owners got over 10k US in “we’re sorry money” and that is due to punitive damage laws in the states. Here in Canada we have fair damages laws. Thus we don’t have the multi-billion dollar lawsuits tying up the court system.
I bought the VW to have a long term value. Now 3 years later, I end up with less then what I got for my 4 year old RAV4. Not right, not right at all.
But obviously VW wants us to come back into the dealer and drop those cheques down on a VW so they’re going to give us great incentives right? Nope! The only incentive they are giving is to take the current fair market value of the vehicle and apply that to the new one as a trade-in to allow you to lower the tax. In my case that’s a fair market value of $16250.00 or a saving of $2112.50 towards a new car. But the dealer will treat you like family and be loyal by giving a better interest rate or rebates right? Nope! Apparently the deal states that VW is to do nothing to persuade you to buy another VW. The community is reporting that when they go into a VW dealer they are completely unwilling to dicker or negotiate. This is the price, take it or leave it. Be thankful for what you are getting. Holy shit!
Then there is the paperwork piece. Oh my, what a disaster thus far. They have contracted this out and you almost have to give them your first born. Bill of sale, financial institution, Government ID, registration, exact milage, and on and on. Takes about 30 minutes minimum to fill out. Then the bullshit starts. It doesn’t appear to be a first come first serve system but completely random. Over a week afterwards some are still waiting while others are being rejected for the silliest reasons and needing to resubmit. Eventually you will see an indicator that your documents have been accepted. Then you have to wait for a phone call to validate things followed by an offer. The offer you have to have witnessed while you sign and send back in. Then you wait again until someone contacts you again and gives you an appointment to take the car back in, supposably 90-120 days later. Then you get another phone call around 20 days out from your appointment to get your latest km’s and if they have changed the value, you get a new offer and need to sign and upload yet again. Eventually you drive your car into a dealer where they cut you a cheque. Can they make this any more complicated?
I was part of the Toyota Tacoma scandal back in 2009. I had a 10 year old pickup truck with 275k km’s on it. It failed the test and Toyota immediately put me in a rental and said wait at home and you’ll get a registered letter with a 1 time offer. A week later I got an offer for 14,000.00 for my old pickup truck. No paperwork (beyond signing the deal) and then Toyota bent over backwards to get me to spend that cheque on a new vehicle. I was treated with respect and given a good/fair deal. It sure doesn’t feel like that with VW. I feel betrayed by VW, the courts and the system. They have played every scam in the book to get the vehicle values down as low as they can.
And the worst part of all this is? VW makes a damn good product and I want to buy another one. But deep down my body and soul is saying “no fucking way should they ever see another cent from me”. I thought they were going to do right by us. And for the older VW’s, if you work the math, it appears they did. But those who have 2013, 2014 and 2015 models, we got the shaft big time.
By not going with VW I am going to lose out on 2k worth of tax savings but I think I’m willing to take that one more thrust in the ass and blame VW. I am so disappointed in what they have done to Canadian owners.
What to buy next with my little pot of money? My requirements remain the same, I need a low roofline for the boats, I like room in the back for carrying things, good mileage and low cost to own. I’m thinking Subaru Crosstrek or Impreza 5 door. I was into a Subaru dealer yesterday for a quick look and they are nice but I noticed right off the bat that the Crosstrek is smaller then the Sportwagon and not as refined and the salesman immediately started with “we don’t haggle” and “we only go by incentives” and “wait for the 2018’s but must of the first batch of those are already sold”. Not giving me much confidence that I’ll be able to get a car. And the Crosstrek actually costs more then the Sportswagon – sigh.
Jeeps are not something I like. Toyota, Ford, Chevy, Mazda all really have nothing in this segment of the market. Honda’s HRV roof is too high and I don’t want to go back to an SUV.
Hard decisions ahead but damn I can’t get over how pissed off I am at VW for having exactly what I want while fucking me in the process. It’s like that girlfriend you always go back to when you know she is only going to fuck with you again.
I guess it’s time to take a Subaru out on a date and settle for 2nd best but be happy in the process 🙂 Next steps are to start the paperwork hell to get the VW monkey off my back.
Shame on you VW, you did not do right by Canadians.