The ramifications of Volkswagen’s diesel cheating scandal have been wide-ranging. On Friday, three months after a $14.7 billion settlement with U.S. regulators, the automaker confirmed it will settle with its U.S. car dealers as well to the tune of $1.21 billion, and that settlement provides further evidence of the end of Volkswagen diesel in America.
Reuters reports that VW’s 652 dealers in the U.S. will receive an average payment of $1.85 million each over 18 months, according to the settlement. VW will also keep buying back diesels the dealers can’t sell, and will suspend orders for capital improvements it once wanted them to make.
Since Dieselgate broke a year ago, those dealers have taken tremendous hits to their bottom lines as sales plummeted, thanks to both a diminished brand image and an inability to sell any TDI diesel cars—once a key factor for an automaker whose U.S. lineup already lacked many volume-selling models like trucks and large SUVs.
And now it looks like TDIs may never come back. From the story:
A filing by lawyers for company dealers says Volkswagen won’t sell any U.S. diesel vehicles for the 2016 and 2017 model years. The company, which has been barred from selling all diesel vehicles in the United States since late 2015, said earlier this month it is uncertain whether it will ever sell diesel vehicles in the United States again.
We’ve known for months that Volkswagen was done with its diesel push in the U.S., but this latest settlement is an indicator that the company is moving off oil burners here effective immediately. That’s no surprise, given that for the past year dealers have been unable to sell any new TDIs.
Current owners—those who aren’t taking a buyback, at least—are still waiting on a “fix” to their vehicles. That may finally be coming soon. Reuters reports a federal judge will grant final approval to buyback offers and fix efforts at a hearing on Oct. 18. Maybe then we’ll finally learn how VW plans to bring these cars into compliance.
Meanwhile, VW still has a criminal investigation to settle as well.