Exclusive Report: VW Likely to Buy Back 115,000 U.S. Cars

Volkswagen expects to buy back around 115,000 of its diesel cars in the United States, or a fifth of the 600,000 vehicles with manipulated engines, to help resolve its emissions scandal in the United States, the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reported in its Thursday edition, without citing sources. Volkswagen, which admitted to manipulating around 11 million diesel cars worldwide, remains in talks with U.S. authorities on how to fix the affected cars, which emit more toxic nitrogen oxide gasses than U.S. laws allow. The automaker faces a January 14 deadline for submitting plans to fix 2-liter-engine cars. Repairing U.S. diesel cars would require extensive work because parts of the exhaust gas system need to be replaced for the manipulated cars to meet U.S. environmental regulations, according to the paper. The U.S. rules are much stricter than those in Europe, and will require more extensive repairs to meet. Volkswagen plans to repair the cars in Europe with a simpler software update or a combination of a software update and small repairs. Europe’s largest carmaker, which is based in Wolfsburg, was not immediately available to comment. The company could either buy back around 115,000 cars or offer a new vehicle in exchange. The latter option would be less costly, the paper said. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which sued VW on Monday and demanded billion of euros in fines, was not yet satisfied with VW’s proposals to repair the affected U.S. cars, Reuters reported Wednesday, citing the EPA. “Recall discussions with the company have not produced an acceptable way forward,” Reuters cited the EPA as saying. “EPA continues to insist that VW develops effective, appropriate remedies as expeditiously as possible.”