No Shortage of Diesel Volkswagens Left for the Taking

The Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal may be receding into the past, but many of the cars at the center of the controversy remain — and not just the ones that owners wouldn’t let go of.

According to a report in the New York Times, some 100,000 of the roughly 380,000 diesel-powered vehicles VW bought back as part of its environmental penance remain in America — unsold, but still in high demand. And thanks to a two-part emissions fix rolled out in 2017, these remaining vehicles could be yours.

While the post-buyback software and hardware switcheroo resulted in a mild decrease in power and economy, many buyers of these sidelined vehicles aren’t complaining. One owner, a Mr. Heilbraun, waxed poetic to the NYT about the killer deal he landed on a 2015 Golf TDI ($11,500, with 38k on the odometer), claiming he regularly nets 41 mpg on his daily 30-mile commute.

The same attributes that originally attracted buyers to VW’s not-so-clean diesels remain, and it’s not like there’s a bevy of other high-MPG diesel small cars to get your hands on these days. The Chevrolet’s Cruze, briefly offered with a 1.6-liter diesel, kicked the bucket earlier this year. Meanwhile, Mazda’s long-delayed diesel CX-5 comes up short in the efficiency department, and forget about landing a smoking deal.

The remaining crop of fixed VW oil burners languish in a couple of dozen lots around the U.S., with dealers slowly whittling down the inventory through auction buys. Reportedly, most of the remaining cars are Passats. After so much time spent outside, additional work must be done to get them in good enough condition for the CPO lot. Besides the approved emissions fix, the now-aging cars require replacement of parts spoiled by excessive time spent in the sun, snow, and rain.

“Every vehicle we see needs brakes and tires,” said Rob Barcellona, a pre-owned sales manager at a VW Group dealer in Flemington, New Jersey. “The brakes are rusted, the tires are dry-rotted.”

In some cases, the wipers see a pre-sale swap. Sometimes shift cables undergo replacement. Fluids and filters also see a swap, but the resulting product remains in demand, with some dealers saying customers come in from out of state to pick up a “new” TDI. Besides the low buy-in and great fuel economy, VW’s 4-year/48,000 mile (from the point of repair) warranty offers excessive peace of mind.

shared from TTAC