Action 9

Action 9: Consumers claim to lose thousands in Volkswagen emission rigging

Some Jetta owners in Central Florida claim they've been financially burned by Volkswagen, again.

The automaker agreed to buy back their vehicles after it admitted to rigging emissions. But two families claim the program's big delays cost them thousands of dollars.

Vita Pirone sold her Jetta diesel TDI back to Volkswagen, but she claims her nightmare isn’t over yet.

“I was, like, more mad, but I was afraid at the same time,” she said.

Pirone claims the payment check was held up, so she couldn't buy a new car.

Volkswagen didn't pay off the old Jetta loan for weeks.

Pirone feels it's unfair mileage formula slashed what Volkswagen paid her by at least $2,000.

“I can't live with that, not only for myself but for everybody else, too,” said Pirone.

Volkswagen settled its diesel scandal over rigged emissions by agreeing to buy back cars at 2015 prices before the controversy sunk resale values.

The program started in late October and sent hundreds of angry owners online to complain.

One big complaint was trying to get answers from Volkswagen, which would be overwhelmed with a half million claims.

Valerian Lohrke said he sent his documented claim five months ago, but still can't get answers about when the automaker will buy his 2010 Jetta TDI or what it will pay.

“The stress from having to go through this process is totally uncalled for,” said Lohrke.

A consulting firm monitoring the settlement with Volkswagen found the automaker made improvements last month, but nearly half the claims were behind deadlines and the frustrations are compounded by customer service problems.

“Volkswagen is just going to say, ‘This is the process, we're doing the best we can.’ No, they're not,” said Lohrke.

Action 9's Todd Ulrich contacted Volkswagen, which admitted there are issues, but called the program unprecedented.

Volkswagen said it hired 900 extra employees to meet customer demand and is making adjustments.

“And this can't be the end for me, or anybody else in my situation,” said Pirone.

Volkswagen told Action 9 that owners with high-mileage Jettas won't be paid as much, but its formula is still fair. The automaker will be reviewing Pirone's and Lohrke's complaints.

Volkswagon’s response:

“Overall, we are encouraged by the customer response to the 2.0L TDI settlement program and the exceptional participation rate so far. As of January 14th, Volkswagen had extended more than 266,000 offers to affected customers and by the end of January, we expect to have processed approximately 96,000 buybacks and lease terminations. This program is unprecedented in terms of its size and scope and we have hired, approximately 900, contract employees to help accommodate demand. We know that there have been some issues along the way and our teams have been working tirelessly to make necessary adjustments and continually improve the process.”