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Old 10-24-2016, 11:33 PM
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Default VW TDI. What to do??



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So I need some advice/ideas. This is part vehicle, part financial. Before i met my wife she had purchased a 2013 VW TDI (diesel) jetta sportwagon. It's a fantastic car honestly. Gets great fuel mileage, drives very well, lots of get up and go, comfortable, sharp looking too.
We are in some rough financial Times and we are looking at options to help see us through. While I like her car and she honestly needs something super reliable, that car payment is an issue. I've never had a new car and only financed one once, 25 years ago.
So add in the issue that VW is having with their emission "cheating" fiasco and we are in an interesting place.
For those who don't know, VW was caught with their cars being able to cheat when put on the US emission test machines. They are now trying to fix it as well as make it right by their customers.
Their peace offering is essentially 2 options for owners like us.
1)We can turn in the car and they will pay off whatever is still owed, making us free of the car note. They will cut us a check for between $4-5.5k as restitution from the class action suite and mandated by the USG.
2) Keep the car and wait to see what they come up with as a "fix" to get the car legit and emissions compliant (the fix is free). Would also still receive the money for restitution.
So what to do....?
What would you do??

My concerns are many.
Will VW be able to fix this issue without making the car less efficient or less drivable?
While eliminating the debt of a car note is a great idea to me, what do we do to get a reliable car for her without going into debt?
Are we not essentially losing all the money she's already paid in interest towards the car? Basically being put back to zero for the debt but with nothing to show for it?

Two options I came up with today seem interesting but maybe I'm way off.
1st idea) turn the car in, thus losing $18+k of debt. Use the restitution money as a down payment for a much less expensive, 4wd SUV in good shape. Hopefully only financing less than $8k.
2nd idea) turn the car in and say goodbye to the debt. Take the money and use it to go completely through her 1991 Jeep Grand Wagoneer. Being a jeep guy I could make it pretty new for $5k and it's already paid for. Just not sure that's a great option for her as a daily driver. She's used to the diesel getting 40-45mpg. That waggy will be lucky to get 12 on a good day. And it's a very different animal driving a 25 year old jeep vs a basically new VW car.
So what to do... throw me some ideas folks. We'll appreciate it!
Old 10-24-2016, 11:51 PM
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how critical is 'emissions' in your AO?

I say keep it and let them 'fix' it to your satisfaction. Take the settlement and apply it to the note.

It wasn't like they where not a good vehicle. They just got caught working the system.
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Old 10-25-2016, 12:19 AM
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I gotta say take the buyout and reduce your debt load.

I see no technical way they can pass without either significantly reducing the efficiency or putting a retrofit SCR catalyst system in.

I doubt highly they do the latter.

Consider getting a 06 or older TDI Jetta, Passat or Beetle. Make darned sure you know the maintenance history of the car though.
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Old 10-25-2016, 12:48 AM
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how critical is 'emissions' in your AO?

I say keep it and let them 'fix' it to your satisfaction. Take the settlement and apply it to the note.

It wasn't like they where not a good vehicle. They just got caught working the system.
My county doesn't have emissions...yet. Much of Colorado does and I'm sure it's coming. Sucks because your hard pressed to know the thing is diesel. Clean, quiet, peppy.
I'm just afraid the "fix" will be part computer reflash which reduces it's good traits and part installation of some other dumb system like DEF.
And having money troubles sure makes seeing the note go away very attractive.

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Old 10-25-2016, 12:52 AM
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I gotta say take the buyout and reduce your debt load.

I see no technical way they can pass without either significantly reducing the efficiency or putting a retrofit SCR catalyst system in.

I doubt highly they do the latter.

Consider getting a 06 or older TDI Jetta, Passat or Beetle. Make darned sure you know the maintenance history of the car though.
On their webpage dedicated to dealing with this, filing a claim, etc... They mention a fix taking several hours though it doesn't sound like they even have one yet. A computer reflash or replacement could take that long. Adding a new mechanical system.... who knows. I'd hate to see more exhaust restrictions or DEF added. Or anything for that matter. It really is a well done car. I just don't know if we can afford to keep it either and maybe the buy back is a blessing in disguise?

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Old 10-25-2016, 01:23 AM
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Originally Posted by tedlovesjeeps71 View Post
So I need some advice/ideas. This is part vehicle, part financial. Before i met my wife she had purchased a 2013 VW TDI (diesel) jetta sportwagon. It's a fantastic car honestly. Gets great fuel mileage, drives very well, lots of get up and go, comfortable, sharp looking too.
We are in some rough financial Times and we are looking at options to help see us through. While I like her car and she honestly needs something super reliable, that car payment is an issue. I've never had a new car and only financed one once, 25 years ago.
So add in the issue that VW is having with their emission "cheating" fiasco and we are in an interesting place.
For those who don't know, VW was caught with their cars being able to cheat when put on the US emission test machines. They are now trying to fix it as well as make it right by their customers.
Their peace offering is essentially 2 options for owners like us.
1)We can turn in the car and they will pay off whatever is still owed, making us free of the car note. They will cut us a check for between $4-5.5k as restitution from the class action suite and mandated by the USG.
2) Keep the car and wait to see what they come up with as a "fix" to get the car legit and emissions compliant (the fix is free). Would also still receive the money for restitution.
So what to do....?
What would you do??

My concerns are many.
Will VW be able to fix this issue without making the car less efficient or less drivable?
While eliminating the debt of a car note is a great idea to me, what do we do to get a reliable car for her without going into debt?
Are we not essentially losing all the money she's already paid in interest towards the car? Basically being put back to zero for the debt but with nothing to show for it?

Two options I came up with today seem interesting but maybe I'm way off.
1st idea) turn the car in, thus losing $18+k of debt. Use the restitution money as a down payment for a much less expensive, 4wd SUV in good shape. Hopefully only financing less than $8k.
2nd idea) turn the car in and say goodbye to the debt. Take the money and use it to go completely through her 1991 Jeep Grand Wagoneer. Being a jeep guy I could make it pretty new for $5k and it's already paid for. Just not sure that's a great option for her as a daily driver. She's used to the diesel getting 40-45mpg. That waggy will be lucky to get 12 on a good day. And it's a very different animal driving a 25 year old jeep vs a basically new VW car.
So what to do... throw me some ideas folks. We'll appreciate it!
Tips from an old person.. 1. get out of debt>PERIOD!..2. Forget fixing a 26 year old vehicle-trade it in also!! 3. Search/look/find a good used late model 2012 or newer 4WD Colorado or Canyon (personal recommendation for families without kids) from a Ford,Chevy,GMC, Honda,Toyota, etc... dealership..NOT a "used car dealer"!!
Remember>> Pay it off quickly with second jobs..you are NOT too good for second jobs to get to your financial goals!!
.. remember, this is advice from an old person with no debt!!.. 2 late model vehs., 2 boats, 2 ATV, 2 motorcycles, ...and LOVE being debt free..
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Old 10-25-2016, 01:59 AM
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Originally Posted by 5keepers View Post
Tips from an old person.. 1. get out of debt>PERIOD!..2. Forget fixing a 26 year old vehicle-trade it in also!! 3. Search/look/find a good used late model 2012 or newer 4WD Colorado or Canyon (personal recommendation for families without kids) from a Ford,Chevy,GMC, Honda,Toyota, etc... dealership..NOT a "used car dealer"!!
Remember>> Pay it off quickly with second jobs..you are NOT too good for second jobs to get to your financial goals!!
.. remember, this is advice from an old person with no debt!!.. 2 late model vehs., 2 boats, 2 ATV, 2 motorcycles, ...and LOVE being debt free..
I respect your opinion and appreciate it. My personal debt is 112.00 on a credit card thanks to an emergency dental visit. Unfortunately my wife's "dowry" was her debt. Lol. Most of it was being attacked until I left Active duty and we moved. Then we stepped into a situation which wasn't planned for, me being unemployed. Thankfully we had my small savings and she got a low paying job pretty quickly but we are about at the end of it financially.
Not to deny there being some wisdom in your suggestion of a newer ish vehicle, that's not something I'm comfortable with. Being a jeep guy there is literally nothing on her wagoneer that I camt repair myself. I kmow the design and even have a goodly collection of spare stuff for it. It isn't in bad shape, runs well enough but was purchased from a guy who parked it for 10 years. I could probably make it very reliable for less than 2k. Just need to go through and replace seals which went bad due to sitting, tires which dry rotted, and rebuild the carb which has a bad power valve. At that point, she'd have a 4wd vehicle (that she likes) which is paid off and runs like a top. Insurance and tags would be cheaper. And being it's the last year, it would have some collector value in the future.
I can't see how buying something newer which i can't work on, has more expensive tags and insurance, and is more delicate thanks to more plastic amd computers would make us better off?
Here's the waggy just because I think a thread needs pics.

Father in law took it for a spin and loved it.

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Old 10-25-2016, 02:06 AM
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Originally Posted by tedlovesjeeps71 View Post
So I need some advice/ideas. This is part vehicle, part financial. Before i met my wife she had purchased a 2013 VW TDI (diesel) jetta sportwagon. It's a fantastic car honestly. Gets great fuel mileage, drives very well, lots of get up and go, comfortable, sharp looking too.
We are in some rough financial Times and we are looking at options to help see us through. While I like her car and she honestly needs something super reliable, that car payment is an issue. I've never had a new car and only financed one once, 25 years ago.
So add in the issue that VW is having with their emission "cheating" fiasco and we are in an interesting place.
For those who don't know, VW was caught with their cars being able to cheat when put on the US emission test machines. They are now trying to fix it as well as make it right by their customers.
Their peace offering is essentially 2 options for owners like us.
1)We can turn in the car and they will pay off whatever is still owed, making us free of the car note. They will cut us a check for between $4-5.5k as restitution from the class action suite and mandated by the USG.
2) Keep the car and wait to see what they come up with as a "fix" to get the car legit and emissions compliant (the fix is free). Would also still receive the money for restitution.
So what to do....?
What would you do??

My concerns are many.
Will VW be able to fix this issue without making the car less efficient or less drivable?
While eliminating the debt of a car note is a great idea to me, what do we do to get a reliable car for her without going into debt?
Are we not essentially losing all the money she's already paid in interest towards the car? Basically being put back to zero for the debt but with nothing to show for it?

Two options I came up with today seem interesting but maybe I'm way off.
1st idea) turn the car in, thus losing $18+k of debt. Use the restitution money as a down payment for a much less expensive, 4wd SUV in good shape. Hopefully only financing less than $8k.
2nd idea) turn the car in and say goodbye to the debt. Take the money and use it to go completely through her 1991 Jeep Grand Wagoneer. Being a jeep guy I could make it pretty new for $5k and it's already paid for. Just not sure that's a great option for her as a daily driver. She's used to the diesel getting 40-45mpg. That waggy will be lucky to get 12 on a good day. And it's a very different animal driving a 25 year old jeep vs a basically new VW car.
So what to do... throw me some ideas folks. We'll appreciate it!

Keep the car and continue making your payments. If its a good car and you like it, then you know what you have and you know its not a lemon.

I am quite knowledgeable about diesels and there is NOTHING VW can do to bring the car with in emission specifications. If you do not need to pass any emission requirements, do not let VW perform any kind of fix to the car.

There is no software fix, the only way to bring down emissions is with a complete diesel particulate filter system that your car was not designed for.
Any fix will impact the performance of the vehicle with likelyhood of large repair bills in the future due to a plugged up DPF or other retrofit issues.

Its really not that expensive of a car, just drive it and take the money, especially since they are giving you 25% of the cars value in restitution.
Old 10-25-2016, 02:07 AM
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I respect your opinion and appreciate it. My personal debt is 112.00 on a credit card thanks to an emergency dental visit. Unfortunately my wife's "dowry" was her debt. Lol. Most of it was being attacked until I left Active duty and we moved. Then we stepped into a situation which wasn't planned for, me being unemployed. Thankfully we had my small savings and she got a low paying job pretty quickly but we are about at the end of it financially.
Not to deny there being some wisdom in your suggestion of a newer ish vehicle, that's not something I'm comfortable with. Being a jeep guy there is literally nothing on her wagoneer that I camt repair myself. I kmow the design and even have a goodly collection of spare stuff for it. It isn't in bad shape, runs well enough but was purchased from a guy who parked it for 10 years. I could probably make it very reliable for less than 2k. Just need to go through and replace seals which went bad due to sitting, tires which dry rotted, and rebuild the carb which has a bad power valve. At that point, she'd have a 4wd vehicle (that she likes) which is paid off and runs like a top. Insurance and tags would be cheaper. And being it's the last year, it would have some collector value in the future.
I can't see how buying something newer which i can't work on, has more expensive tags and insurance, and is more delicate thanks to more plastic amd computers would make us better off?
Here's the waggy just because I think a thread needs pics.

Father in law took it for a spin and loved it.

Sent from my SM-N930V using Tapatalk
Looks good, glad to hear you can work on it...spare parts are great to have... keep.. make it reliable.. get out of debt.. and stay that way.. CONGRATS!!
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Old 10-25-2016, 02:19 AM
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Keep the car and continue making your payments. If its a good car and you like it, then you know what you have and you know its not a lemon.

I am quite knowledgeable about diesels and there is NOTHING VW can do to bring the car with in emission specifications. If you do not need to pass any emission requirements, do not let VW perform any kind of fix to the car.

There is no software fix, the only way to bring down emissions is with a complete diesel particulate filter system that your car was not designed for.
Any fix will impact the performance of the vehicle with likelyhood of large repair bills in the future due to a plugged up DPF or other retrofit issues.

Its really not that expensive of a car, just drive it and take the money, especially since they are giving you 25% of the cars value in restitution.
Thanks for the feedback. I'm used to older, simpler diesels. The current ones seem nothing but trouble from the military perspective. My last unit was odd amd we had a fleet of civilian buses. From 16 passenger up to 55 pax motor coaches. All of them had issues, constantly. Most usually related to the DPF, regen, or DEF systems. So I get what your saying, I'm just not sure we'll be able to swing the payments much longer. I drop an average of 40 applications a day. So far my only job prospect has been a part time bus driving gig on post. Unfortunately it's a government job so the hiring process is now in month 5! My reserve drill check isn't enough for groceries and we eat VERY frugally.
I don't mean to sound all "woe is me"... that's not how I roll. This is just a rough time and while we will get through it, I'm trying to male good decisions which will help us bounce back faster. Ya know?

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Old 10-25-2016, 06:56 AM
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There's never been made a vehicle that was as dependable as being out of debt.

By whatever means you do it, that should always be Priority #1.

Whatever the fix is, and no one seems to know, it will only make the car worse. There's no way to incorporate government mandates and make anything *better*, is there? So you already know, no matter what it is, it will make the car worse.

Go on a leisurely jaunt into a state with no emissions laws -- like mine -- and fall in love with another car/truck/suv. Trade it off where their emission paperwork will have no meaning. Everyone wins.



DS
Old 10-25-2016, 07:54 AM
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I had a similar problem. I had a TDI that had 80,000 miles on it and ran like it was brand new. I was concerned that, should I not allow VW to "repair" something that was not broken, my state might not license the thing in the future.

I swapped it for a non TDI, took the $1000 for the air bag they offered, took the $2000 loyalty bonus, and will take the $3000 they are going to give me on the TDI, and took the $7200 they offered for the trade in.

I love my new car, but I still miss my TDI.

WW
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Old 10-25-2016, 08:24 AM
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If I was as strapped for cash as you make it seem, the Jetta would be gone.

A TDI wagon is very nice, don't get me wrong, but it does nobody any good if it gets repoed.

I would sell it, then buy a small commuter car or something. Like a corolla or Camry. Could pick up a decent one for 2-3k. Going from a new Jetta to a 20 year old jeep would be nothing but heartbreak.
Old 10-25-2016, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by tedlovesjeeps71 View Post
. Being a jeep guy there is literally nothing on her wagoneer that I camt repair myself. I kmow the design and even have a goodly collection of spare stuff for it. It isn't in bad shape, runs well enough but was purchased from a guy who parked it for 10 years. I could probably make it very reliable for less than 2k. Just need to go through and replace seals which went bad due to sitting, tires which dry rotted, and rebuild the carb which has a bad power valve. At that point, she'd have a 4wd vehicle (that she likes) which is paid off and runs like a top. Insurance and tags would be cheaper.k
So:

You can be out from under the debt, your wife can be in a reliable 4x4 vehicle that she likes, AND you can have $2,500-$3k in the bank....


I'm sorry, what's the question!?!

Till I got to this point I was going to point out for ~$5k you could get a perfectly adequate sedan... but if she (and you) like the Jeep...
The lack of payments will cover the MPG, and when your back on your feet you can pay CASH for a better MPG vehicle.
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Old 10-25-2016, 12:11 PM
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The jeep has enough room to sleep in. Any redneck shop can fix it. Used parts are all over the place. I would be willing to bet that your local parts store has more parts in stock for it than the vw.
Old 10-25-2016, 03:29 PM
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I am going to have to echo the take the money, ditch the tdi and don't look back. You have a jeep that can be road worthy for less than the payout, take it. You might be able to get into a car for under 10k that is in good shape if your wife does not enjoy the jeep.
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Old 10-25-2016, 05:55 PM
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The current TDI is gonna depreciate, no matter what, so you're going to lose at least part of the value of it that way. Can't be helped.

The $18k of debt is hard to swallow and in hard times, having an option to dump it seems like a God-send.

I love those TDIs. They're wonderful running engines. I haven't owned one since my 2004 and I still miss that little TDI Jetta wagon.

If you can get by without the Jetta, it doesn't sound like you'd really lose much of anything by turning it back in. Sounds like you have the makings of a reliable vehicle paid for. Nothing says that you can't pick up another TDI or something similar when the income situation is a little better and more stable for you.

Good luck, whatever you decide.
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Old 10-25-2016, 06:29 PM
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Thanks a bunch guys for all the great feedback. Her and I will sit down and discuss this more. The turn in and payout won't likely happen quickly so we have to bear that in mind. I dont think she'll be opposed to the idea and since the jeep was purchased because she wanted one for her 40th (and i stumbled across it). We planned on it being a snow weather/fun vehicle for her. But I think giving it a good bit of attention will make it reliable. She'll probably have no issue driving it a while. Things will turn around, they always do... we can revisit getting her something nice again then.

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Old 10-25-2016, 10:59 PM
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I am quite knowledgeable about diesels and there is NOTHING VW can do to bring the car with in emission specifications. If you do not need to pass any emission requirements, do not let VW perform any kind of fix to the car.
Not exactly the case, at least with the TDI's. The Passat is not in this situation because they were sold with SCR/Catalyst systems, why the idiots didn't incorporate it into the rest is beyond me. My sister has a 2012 TDI Passat that hits the MPG and performance numbers with the system.

That being said, I do not believe VW either can retrofit those which were built without it, nor would they spend the money to do so, it is eminently more feasible to offer what they have.

And you will not have a choice in bringing it in, they will hunt you down and force the issue, this is Federal EPA, not states.
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Old 10-26-2016, 12:25 AM
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So the wife and I sat down and discussed it tonight. Weighed all the options, looked at our finances, and did some serious soul searching.
After going through the registration process on the VW claims sight we know what to expect.
Since its her car the final decision was hers so I tried to lay out the options.
After a little contemplation she made her decision.
We will turn her car in.
It gets us out of 18+k of debt and eliminates the unknown of what will happen if/when they "fix" the issue... if they ever do.
One thing we are wondering is what are they going to do with all these turn in cars?? Sell them used in some country that doesn't care about emissions? Scrap them? Be interesting to see.
We will also take some of the payout monies and i will go through her Grand Wagoneer and make it as functional as I possibly can. For now, it's our best option. Should things turn around and money begins to flow... we can revisit a newer vehicle for her then.

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