-- Facing several lawsuits, Volkswagen has yet to offer a solution to drivers of 11 million diesel vehicles that apparently can cheat emissions tests.
What's a Volkswagen driver to do?
Volkswagen, the largest carmaker in the world, is accused by regulators of using illegal "defeat device" software that causes 482,000 of its diesel cars in the U.S. to cheat on emissions standards tests. The Environmental Protection Agency is asserting that these cars emit up to 40 times the legal limit of nitrogen oxides during normal operation.
"Every reason that I bought the car was based on a lie," Ari Levin, a 2010 diesel Jetta owner in New York who is suing Volkswagen, said Tuesday.
The affected cars have a Type EA 189 diesel engine. The cars built with this particular engine include the Volkswagen Jetta, Beetle, Audi A3 and Volkswagen Golf diesel models from 2009-2015, as well as the 2014 and 2015 Passat. Volkswagen told dealers to halt sales of both new vehicles and certified pre-owned cars equipped with the 4-cylinder 2.0 TDI (turbodiesel) engine. Audi has also implemented a stop-sale for its only model with that same engine, the A3 2.0 TDI.
Until Volkswagen offers a solution to consumers (the company said over the weekend that it's launched an external investigation), here's what Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and analyst at Kelley Blue Book, advises:
1. Hold tight and see what Volkswagen suggests.
Today, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group called on Volkswagen to provide full rebates and buy back the affected cars from U.S. customers who thought they were buying "clean" diesel vehicles.
2. You can continue to drive your vehicle.
This is not a safety issue. Volkswagen said consumers can continue driving their cars and Nerad agrees.
3. Continue to monitor news reports.
Announcements from state and federal authorities may bring to light additional information for consumers. Lawmakers in Tennessee plan to hold hearings over whether the Volkswagen emissions scandal could imperil the nearly $900 million in state and local incentives that have been directed toward the German automaker's lone U.S. plant in Chattanooga.
Martin Winterkorn, who resigned as Volkswagen CEO today, said in a statement that "I am shocked by the events of the past few days. Above all, I am stunned that misconduct on such a scale was possible in the Volkswagen Group. As CEO I accept responsibility for the irregularities that have been found in diesel engines and have therefore requested the Supervisory Board to agree on terminating my function as CEO of the Volkswagen Group. I am doing this in the interests of the company even though I am not aware of any wrong doing on my part."
4. Expect to hear from Volkswagen by mail, email and/or phone.
Getting the word out about consumer news like recalls can be difficult, and some drivers may dismiss this information. Sometimes even car dealers may not be following corporate directives, as was the case with recalled GM cars, according to an ABC News investigation earlier this year.