It’s been 35 days since the Environmental Protection Agency accused Volkswagen of violating the federal Clean Air Act by installing “defeat devices” software on nearly 500,000 diesel-equipped vehicles sold in the U.S. The Sept. 18 accusation observed that VW’s engine management software was designed to trick pollution-testing devices by detecting when a vehicle was undergoing emission checks and turning on pollution controls. When not connected to a testing device, the emission controls would be switched off. As a result, affected TDI models could potentially emit 40 times the allowed amount of nitrogen oxides.

Affected Models

  • Audi A3 TDI (Model Years 2010-2013 & 2015)
  • VW Jetta TDI (Model Years 2009 – 2015)
  • VW Jetta SportWagen TDI (Model Years 2009-2014)
  • VW Golf TDI (Model Years 2010-2015)
  • VW Golf SportWagen TDI (Model Year 2015)
  • VW Beetle TDI and VW Beetle Convertible TDI (Model Years 2012 – 2015)
  • VW Passat TDI (Model Years 2012-2015)

*Audi, Porsche and VW each sell other diesel equipped models in the U.S. To date, they are not included in the EPA’s notice. These vehicles include the Audi A6 TDI, A7 TDI, A8 TDI, Q5 TDI, and Q7 TDI; Porsche Cayenne Diesel; and VW Touareg TDI.

The Fix

To-date, there is no remedy available from Volkswagen or Audi. According to www.vwdieselinfo.com , a website setup by VW to update consumers, the nameplate states, “We cannot offer a firm date now because we need to work on the remedy and review it with the government. We are proceeding as quickly as possible.” Audi has a similar message on its website http://www.audiusa.com/about/a3-tdi-information , which notes, “Audi is committed to finding a remedy as soon as possible. We are working to develop a remedy that will meet the expectations of the government agencies. We ask for your patience as we work to get this done right.”

Auction Prices

Regarding wholesale auction prices, gas-powered Jetta and Passat prices for model years 2011-2013 have fallen by amounts similar to those of their respective segment. In the four most recent weeks post-issue, 2011-2013 gas-powered Jetta prices declined by a range of 3% – 7%, during this same period compact car segment prices were down by an average of 3% – 4%. Similar to the Jetta, 2012 – 2013 gas-powered Passat prices have declined by 1% – 6%, whereas average midsize car prices declined by 3%.

While gas-powered VW declines have followed pre-violation trends, diesel-powered models have begun to exhibit more significant price erosion. Thus far, 2011 – 2013 diesel-powered Jetta wholesale prices have declined by 10% – 12% compared to the four-week period prior to EPA’s notice of violation, which is significantly more than both its Jetta gas-powered counterparts and average compact car segment declines.  Similar to the diesel-powered Jetta’s declines, 2012 – 2013 diesel-powered Passat prices have slipped by 7% – 13%, which is also higher than Passat gas-powered variants and midsize car segment declines.


As for price movement of older 2009 – 2010 model year affected vehicles, diesel-powered versions of the Jetta are actually outperforming gas-powered versions. Since the post-violation notice, gas-powered Jetta prices have declined by 7% – 12%, while diesel prices have slipped by only 3% – 6%. Diesel-powered 2009 – 2010 Jetta declines are in line with compact car segment averages of 2% – 6%. It’s important to note older model prices can be influenced more by disparities in condition. This is particularly true when sample sizes are small — like they are for the 2009 and 2010 Jetta. This could explain some of the difference in price changes for those model years relative to later model years.

In terms of auction volume, the number of gas-powered emissions issue models has fallen by 3%, while diesel-powered volume has declined by 19% since the EPA announcement.

Data Notes:  Prices for VW gas models and competitive segments are based on auction sales of the best-selling trim level when new. Prices for VW diesels are based on all available sales. Volkswagen Beetle and Golf vehicles with a MY2015 and MY2014 build date were excluded due to extremely low sample sizes.