Consumer Reports calls on VW to increase buyback offers

VW should allow buybacks even after repair work, it argues.

Volkswagen will shell out billions to buy back vehicles affected by its diesel emissions scandal or compensate owners of certain models, but Consumer Reports doesn't think that's quite enough.

According to Reuters, Consumer Reports accused VW of undervaluing the retail prices of affected vehicles and called on the company to use values that would add several hundred dollars to each individual buyback. While that sounds like a big deal, it's not as important as CR's second point – that customers should be able to sell their cars to back to VW after they're emissions compliant. If the hardware and software changes impact performance – which is a real possibility – CR's argument gives customers an option to easily get rid of their vehicles. And while it's probably not Consumer Reports' intent, we suspect this kind of safety net may actually encourage owners with no interest in the emissions fix to report into their dealer to get the work done.

Beyond these two suggestions, Consumer Reports also used the public comment period on VW's preliminary settlement to encourage "regulators to wield robust oversight of Volkswagen to ensure that the company implements its recall, investment, and mitigation programs appropriately." CR also suggested something that VW probably won't be a fan of – "tough civil penalties and any appropriate criminal penalties against the company in order to hold it fully accountable" on both the state and federal level.

Both California and Washington State hit Volkswagen with civil fines last month. The company called Washington's decision "regrettable."

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