Shocking images have emerged showing lines of cars stretching out as far as the eye can see in the Californian desert after Volkswagen was forced to buy back 350,000 cars for $7.4billion over the diesel scandal.
The German automaker has been forced to get creative when it comes to responsibly storing the hundreds of thousands of vehicles they had to buy back.
Storage lots include a shuttered suburban Detroit football stadium, a former Minnesota paper mill and the desert site near Victorville, California.
VW spokeswoman Jeannine Ginivan said in a statement on Wednesday that the storage facility in Victorville, California, is one of many ‘to ensure the responsible storage of vehicles that are bought back under the terms of the Volkswagen’ diesel settlements.
‘These vehicles are being stored on an interim basis and routinely maintained in a manner to ensure their long-term operability and quality, so that they may be returned to commerce or exported once U.S. regulators approve appropriate emissions modifications,’ she said.
While it was originally suggested Volkswagen may scrap the hundreds of thousands of cars for parts, it now appears that the manufacturer is hoping to return them to the market once they meet emissions guidelines.
But it may be some time before stung customers rush out to buy another VW.
In total, VW has agreed to spend more than $25 billion in the United States for claims from owners, environmental regulators, states and dealers and offered to buy back about 500,000 polluting U.S. vehicles. The buy backs will continue through the end of 2019.
The court fling said through Dec. 31 Volkswagen had reacquired 335,000 diesel vehicles, resold 13,000 and destroyed about 28,000 vehicles. As of the end of last year, VW was storing 294,000 vehicles around the country.
VW must buy back or fix 85 per cent of the vehicles involved by June 2019 or face higher payments for emissions.
The company said in February it has repaired or fixed nearly 83 per cent of covered vehicles and expects to soon hit the requirement.
Through mid-February VW has issued 437,273 letters offering nearly $8 billion in compensation and buybacks.
Concerns over nitrogen dioxide emissions have grown since Volkswagen was found in September 2015 to have cheated air pollution tests for 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide.
In April 2017, Volkswagen was sentenced to three years probation after pleading guilty to three felony counts and paid $4.3 billion in federal penalties.
Owners of affected vehicles in the US are being offered compensation worth thousands of pounds each, but the manufacturer is refusing to make payouts in the UK.
In January, the FBI arrested top VW executive Oliver Schmidt in Florida on conspiracy charges relating to the fuel emissions scandal.
He led the German company’s US regulatory compliance office from 2014 to March 2015. Lawsuits accuse Mr Schmidt of playing ‘an important role’ in Volkswagen’s efforts to conceal its emissions cheating from US regulators.
Watchdogs, MPs and consumer groups have expressed outrage at Volkswagen, saying the firm must pay out for cheating on emissions tests to make millions of their diesel vehicles appear less polluting.
The German automaker pleaded guilty in March 2017 to criminal charges that it defrauded the US and conspired to violate the Clean Air Act.
The company agreed to pay $4.3 billion in criminal and civil fines, on top of $17.5 billion the company had already agreed to pay in settlements with car owners, dealers and for environmental cleanup.
Regulators in 2015 discovered that Volkswagen diesel cars marketed as clean in fact spewed up to 40 times the permissible limits of nitrogen oxide during normal driving, but this was hidden during emissions testing.
The company developed the illegal technology in 2009 and prosecutors alleged senior employees attempted a coverup after learning of the scheme in 2015.
Volkswagen still faces an array of legal challenges in Germany and worldwide relating to the scandal.
The global carmaker has so far set aside more than $24.4 billion to cover fines and compensation related to dieselgate, but experts estimate the final bill could be much higher.
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7 thoughts on “Shocking images of VW cars dumped in Californian desert”
What a friggen waste, this is just the tip of the iceberg, it would blow your mind how many autos go unsold, they leverage this crap on the stock market as derivatives, pretending that it’s real money for huge loans, only a fraction of this shit gets sold, guess who gets stuck with the bill.
Huge money changes hands, but the autos never move, they stay right there. Sickening….
Manufacturers keep pumping the cars out so people have jobs.
Mark’s right…there’s cars all over the place and has been for years. A google search for what is happening to unsold cars gives you a glimpse of the problem.
This isn’t just a VW problem and it certainly isn’t just about the emissions problems.
One has to wonder how much “global warming” and pollution these unsellable cars is creating compared to your average grandmother driving under 20 miles a week.
But we should all be taxed to death…right?
Not saying we shouldn’t be stewards of our environment, however, the emission rules for an engine are ludicrous. The average fuel economy hasn’t changed much since 1980 despite some advances in engine technologies.
The stoichiometric mixture for a gasoline engine is the ideal ratio of air to fuel that burns all fuel with no excess air. For gasoline fuel, the stoichiometric air–fuel mixture is about 14.7:1 i.e. for every one gram of fuel, 14.7 grams of air are required.
Making a vehicle lighter or shutting off the engine is the only way to improve the results, this is why brand new vehicles have auto engine start/stop, its’ only purpose is to pass the tread mill EPA test. Engine off at stop light equals zero emissions thus bringing down the overall number.
I applaud VW for their attempt to cheat the scumbag new world order propeller heads who dictate to us every day on how to live. It’s obvious by the fines imposed that Germany is still paying retribution for WW2, 6 Million, oy vey.
Great comment. Thanks.
I used to work at a VW dealership in service. In 2003 we took a new TDI and a new Prius on back to back drives with a tech’s computer plugged in to monitor. Guess which car made more pollution out the tailpipe? Guess which car got better mileage?
I drive a TDI to this day, and it’s one of the “scandal cars”. On a road trip with a\c on and the cruise set at 75, I average 55mpg. Now if I’m getting DOUBLE the mileage of most cars, how muhc friggin’ damage am I doing to the environment? This whole thing is a crock….American automakers don’t have anything to compete with this and have gone full Clinton on them to kill the competition.
I agree with this above, this is a waste.
This isn’t about emission standards its about punishing Germany for allowing VW to build an Engine plant in Russia. VW spent $7 billion dollars on the pant. Its a State of the Art plant. It exceeds most manufacturing standards. I think the reason why the US government is so pi$$ed is the plant can make parts for about anything including Space and Aviation.
It could be the Plant is seen as a violation to US, Russian Sanctions