Posted on Thursday, April 21st, 2016
German automaker Volkswagen recently missed a deadline to appear in U.S. District court, but they were granted an extension until today, April 21, by U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco. This scheduled court date was meant for Volkswagen to present their plan to make VW cars involved in the company’s current emissions scandal compliant with environmental standards. However, if the company is unable to reach an agreement with the U.S. government, VW dealers, and their customers, a trial may take place to determine what Volkswagen owes to consumers and what changes they will need to make.
Finding an affordable option for the company has proved harrowing, as a satisfactory solution goes far beyond fixing the misleading software. Even if the software is updated and brought into compliance with environmental standards, the cars would no longer drive as well, and the ratings promised to buyers would be compromised. Refitting each car in the United States with proper parts and new computer systems is too costly, so a judge at the last hearing recommended that the company simply buy back the cars.
Buying back the cars would hurt Volkswagen financially, an area in which the company is already suffering. Tony German, a New York resident who drives an affected A3 model Audi, would gladly sell his car back to Volkswagen for the right price. His car’s resale value was damaged by the scandal, and buying a new car is an inconvenience. If Volkswagen can pay buyers for the original cost, and maybe an additional sum for the inconvenience, German and many others will likely gladly give up these vehicles.