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What does VW emissions scandal mean for current owners?

Volkswagon and Audi owners are scrambling to figure out what they should do next now that the emissions rigging scandal has grown to include millions of vehicles worldwide.

Nate Jones is driving one of 11 million Volkswagen diesel vehicles that has software designed to fool emissions testing while pumping out ten to 30 times the amount of nitrous oxide allowed by law.

“It’ll be like throwing cigarette butts or trash out the window.  You’re not keeping the trash in your car, but you are making it everybody else’s problem,” explained Jones.

Now Volkswagen’s upmarket, Audi, said more than 2 million of its vehicles are among those effected with the emissions rigging scandal.  As the fallout continues, Jones has some real questions about what to do next.

“I bought the car because it was capable of up to 42 miles per gallon and has some good power.  It’s a good handling car. I’m kind of stuck right now,” said Jones.

I called the top experts on the subject of the Volkswagen issue and here’s what they have to say.  John Voelcker from Green Car Reports said to sit tight while the company tries to find a fix.

“I don’t think they’ve figured it out and they will have to get permission from both the EPA nationally and California specifically before they make any changes so right now owners should keep driving their cars,” said Voelcker.

Experts believe some of the diesels will just need a software fix but Jones’ car doesn’t have a certain injection system called urea, so it will need a lot more work to get into compliance.

“For the ones using the primitive style there is some possibility they will have to retro-fit this new system which involves a separate tank, a bunch of plumbing, some injectors and an additional catalytic converter-it’s a mess,” explained Voelcker.

That hits right at Jones’ second issue – resale value.

“<If> I find I owe considerably more than the car is worth, I’m going to be very mad at Volkswagen,” exclaimed Jones.

The folks at Kelley Blue Book said history is on Jones’ side. Toyota’s unintended acceleration issues and GM’s ignition recall didn’t hurt values of those vehicles dramatically.

Bottom line, Jones just wants what he paid for.

“They are touting how clean their particular product is. This is a clean diesel vehicle and then it’s not? I’d like to have a clean diesel vehicle that’s capable of the mileage they promised.  I don’t think that’s too much to ask for!” exclaimed Jones.

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