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HomeInvestingHow Volkswagen Quietly Stashed Half A Million Rigged Cars Around The Country

How Volkswagen Quietly Stashed Half A Million Rigged Cars Around The Country

Volkswagen bought back hundreds of thousands of emissions-cheating cars. We just discovered what it has done with them all

 

As Bloomberg reports, the German automaker agreed last year to buy back about 500,000 diesels that it rigged to pass U.S. emissions tests if it can’t figure out a way to fix them. Except for a handful of 2015 models, VW dealers can’t sell the cars until – and unless – the company comes up with repairs to satisfy regulators. The question they face then is – what to do with the hundreds of thousands of diesel cars it is being forced to buy back?

Well, now we know… the company is hauling them to storage lots across America…

VW spokeswoman Jeannine Ginivan said the program is unprecedented in terms of its size and scope and we have devoted significant resources and personnel to help ensure that it is carried out as seamlessly as possible.”

As Jalopnik’s David Tracy reports, after a bit of hunting on forums, and a couple of tips from readers and friends, I seem to have found three such “regional facilities”: one in Pontiac, Michigan; one in San Bernardino, California; and one in Baltimore, Maryland.

The Pontiac Silverdome is a bit of a shitshow in southeast Michigan. It used to be the proud home of the Detroit Lions and the Pistons, and it was even the venue for Super Bowl XVI, multiple NCAA tournament games and some FIFA World Cup matches. But now the huge building lies dormant, with its interior decaying and its parking lots cracking after years of neglect. This makes it the perfect place for VW to stash their bought-back TDIs.

See here for more images…

On a remote part of Norton Air Force Base (in San Bernardino, California), which has been decommissioned for over 20 years now, as is now part of the San Bernardino International Airport, lie thousands of California-plated Volkswagens and Audis awaiting their fate…

 

Google Street View even has the images..

See here for more images…

The Port of Baltimore is stuffed full of Volkswagens waiting to die. As one Jalopnik readers noted “a total of five storage lots with what had to be thousands of cars, ranging from older Mk5 Jetta models to high line Audi A3s, Passats and MQB Mk7 Golfs and a huge quantity of Jetta Sportwagens… Several of the lots stretched much farther than I could see.”

See here for more images…

The images above bring to mind the apocalyptic scenes from ‘where cars go to die’ during the last crisis in America, but for VW, this seemed to sum it all up nicely…

“The public doesn’t realize the monumental undertaking that they’ve pulled off to do this in a year and a half,” said Matthew Welch, general manager of Auburn Volkswagen near Seattle.

 

“Nothing like this has ever been done.”

And while VW has only itself (and government regulations) to blame for this scene, we wonder how long before we see the same images for GM vehicles… after all, with inventories at 10-year highs as sales start to collapse, we are feeling a terrible sense of deja vu all over again…

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