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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Judge to Volkswagen TDI Owners: Stop Stripping Your Vehicles

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      Just because you can, doesn't mean you should

    There will always be those who try their best to find loopholes. Case in point are some Volkswagen TDI owners who deciding to strip their vehicles for parts before turning them into dealers. This came to light a couple of weeks ago on Jalopnik as it had found various threads on Reddit and TDI forums with such titles as “Will anyone be stripping salvaging parts before selling back?” and "Stripping the Turn-Ins". Why are there owners who are seriously considering this? It comes down to EPA's consent decree which states a vehicle must be 'operatable'. This is defined by the court as, 

    "“Operable” means that a vehicle so described can be driven under its own 2.0-liter TDI engine power. A vehicle is not Operable if it had a branded title of “Assembled,” “Dismantled,” “Flood,” “Junk,” “Rebuilt,” “Reconstructed,” or “Salvaged” as of September 18, 2015, and was acquired by any person or entity from a junkyard or salvaged after September 18, 2015."

    This definition leaves a lot of room for interpretation and some are taking that to mean it is ok to remove a number of parts. In fact, one Volkswagen TDI owner in Ohio basically removed almost everything on his Golf to see if Volkswagen would buy it back and was brought to light by Jalopnik last week.

    But this loophole has been closed. USA Today reports that U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer warned owners last Thursday not to strip their vehicles. This was brought up by Volkswagen's attorney which referenced the Jalopnik story.

    "Clearly the purpose of the agreement by Volkswagen was to accept these cars in the condition that they were in as they were being driven on the road, and not to strip the cars," Breyer said at the hearing.

    Jonathan Cohen, an attorney for the Federal Trade Commission told USA Today that the agency is "absolutely against bad-faith behavior by consumers" but also noted that VW cannot reject buybacks based on "the vehicle's superficial condition." (i.e. normal wear and tear).

    Breyer said he would consider taking further action if needed at a later time.

    Source: Jalopnik, 2 , USA Today

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    Good. Anyone with half an ounce of common sense could establish that VW didn't want these cars back stripped of as much of their parts as one could get off while still leaving it drivable. 

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    To strip and return is like damaging an item or theft.

    VW has given a generous settlement and blazing deals on a new car so asking that the car comes back complete is little to ask.

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    People are just being petty and trying to take advantage of the situation.... Tale as old as time..

    Edited by Drew Dowdell
    Stupid auto correct...

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    It is like people buying a mower at Walmart in the spring then returning it in the fall because now they did not like it. 

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    1 hour ago, hyperv6 said:

    It is like people buying a mower at Walmart in the spring then returning it in the fall because now they did not like it. 

    but what if the mower company was caught cheating emissions and lying to its customers and regulatory agencies, completely devaluing resale?

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    8 minutes ago, bigpoolog said:

    but what if the mower company was caught cheating emissions and lying to its customers and regulatory agencies, completely devaluing resale?

    That's part of the settlement.  VW is paying above market rates to buy back the cars and deep discounts to those customers who purchase new VWs. 

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    I dunno.  In both cases, people are taking advantage of the spirit of the rules.  Mind you, I've benefited from this in the past... picked up a mower that had been returned.  It was a gas mower and the tag says "Customer states 'Makes a loud noise'".  Took it out in the parking lot, fired it up, and it ran fine for 7 years after that. 

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    3 hours ago, bigpoolog said:

    but what if the mower company was caught cheating emissions and lying to its customers and regulatory agencies, completely devaluing resale?

    The fact is no matter what VW did it does not entitle anyone to steel parts off the cars. Two wrongs are only twice as wrong. 

    VW is being fined and punished. They have paid over value on the cars that are going to be scrapped and I know many are using this point as justification but that is still not right. They are also getting screaming deals on new cars. My boss just got a new Jetta with everything on it for only $210 a month. Not many worth while cars for that price. He traded in his wife's diesel for it.

    No matter how you spin it there is no honest and ethical way to put it stealing is stealing and this kind of thinking we all pay for it in the end in higher prices.  

    There is no entitlement for anything here other than what the law provides. To take it into your own hands and take from the car in the end could end up making a bad situation only worse. 

    To be honest if someone pulled a car into my dealer stripped down I would prorate it. 

    Also you can not provide anything that this would be legal or with in the idea of how the settlement goes. 

    Sorry but personal social justice or vigilantism is not morally or ethically right no matter how you spin it. 

    What you want to do here is stealing and no matter what VW did it is still stealing. 

    Just because a store short changed you does not give you a right to shop lift. 

    Now if VW did not make a decent offer and provide a good buy back then you take legal action at that point and follow the rule of law. 


     


     

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    2 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    I dunno.  In both cases, people are taking advantage of the spirit of the rules.  Mind you, I've benefited from this in the past... picked up a mower that had been returned.  It was a gas mower and the tag says "Customer states 'Makes a loud noise'".  Took it out in the parking lot, fired it up, and it ran fine for 7 years after that. 

    I know from my own work how dishonest people are and in the end it cost the honest people. 

    While the VW issues was a large issue the fact is people keeping parts are every bit as bad for what they are doing. Now if they had VW or the dealer saying it was ok but like you said it was not how the deal was intended. VW will send most of these cars to recyclable and salvage as much as they can. 

    Hate for operate America is one thing but we all must understand the cost will be passes on to the rest of us in one way or another. It is up to the government to deal out the punishment and leave it at that. A public lynching be it a Human or Corporation while it may feel good only hurts everyone. 

    Taking of parts like this is greedy and selfish. 

    It is no different than people burning Hummers because they disagree with people owning them because they are not environmental enough. 

    Right is right and wrong is wrong and there is no between. 

    Edited by hyperv6

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    21 hours ago, hyperv6 said:

    To strip and return is like damaging an item or theft.

    VW has given a generous settlement and blazing deals on a new car so asking that the car comes back complete is little to ask.

     

    20 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    People are just being petty and trying to take advantage of the situation.... Tale as old as time..

    I totally agree......my thought is there that the lose both their car and the deal....

     

    because paybacks....:angry:

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    36 minutes ago, daves87rs said:

     

    I totally agree......my thought is there that the lose both their car and the deal....

     

    because paybacks....:angry:

    To be honest I would leave them with the car and leave them with their own damage. They own the car so you can not really take it away but VW can take the deal or pro rate it so they feel the pain as the law was broken and they took the law into their own hands. 

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    2 hours ago, hyperv6 said:

    To be honest I would leave them with the car and leave them with their own damage. They own the car so you can not really take it away but VW can take the deal or pro rate it so they feel the pain as the law was broken and they took the law into their own hands. 

    Yeah, you can't take their cars away from them... the biggest punishment would be to leave them with the car and rescind the buyback offer. 

    • Upvote 1

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    5 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Yeah, you can't take their cars away from them... the biggest punishment would be to leave them with the car and rescind the buyback offer. 

    And a pile of parts!

    • Upvote 1

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    10 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Yeah, you can't take their cars away from them... the biggest punishment would be to leave them with the car and rescind the buyback offer. 

    True....but I still think folks like that really don'y need a car anyways.....

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