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

Tyler Durden's picture

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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cossack55's picture

I don't see any 71' SuperBeetles

JackT's picture

It's good that they are doing this for America. We'll have these illegal vehicles to help us battle the robots.

DownWithYogaPants's picture

We should all be driving deisels given their efficiency.  Screw the emissions.  Bunch of panty waist faggots who don't even understand science making the calls.  That's why the USA is on the way out.

Schlump's picture

Bunch of panty waist faggots who don't even understand science making the calls.

Moronic (and homophobic) comment from someone who does not understand the harmful effects of NOx emissions.

philipat's picture

GM is just doing God's work so would never even consider such a scheme itself before VW got caught? However, if it had been a US manufacturer, you can be sure a solution would have been agreed with Gubmin by now. Now, if Germany continues to play ball over Russian sanctions and NATO, perhaps a solution can be found quite quickly........?

VWAndy's picture

 Yea how bout that qudrajet. lol

Stuck on Zero's picture

Those cars could be sold in Mexico or South America.

a Smudge by any other name's picture

This hasn't got press but USA heavy truck manfs have been playing the same game for years and got away with it. Mac, Peterbilt, Freightliner all have tricks up their sleeves.

johngaltfla's picture

It's not just VW.  You should see the auto auctions in Western Florida. They are having to lease empty land for all the lease and trade-in vehicles waiting to be auctioned off. This nightmare is just at the starting gate.

VWAndy's picture

 Some of us called that as soon as we saw obd 1.

MalteseFalcon's picture

This VW thing is about something else besides emissions.

MisterMousePotato's picture

By my very rough calculations, line 'em up end to end, and they'd stretch about 2/3 the way across the country.

umdesch4's picture

Geez, it's like you could use them to build a wall or something!

Gazooks's picture

send this person.. the white house

TheReplacement's picture

President Trump (((Kushner))) are you seeing this?  You cannot get your own party to fund a wall on the border.  VW has enough cars to line the border and all they need is permission to stack them up there.  Hello.  Is this thing on?


Jubal Early's picture

"obd 1"?  what is that, On Board Diagnostics v1?

Most of those VW's have a type of diesel EGR (exhaust gas recirculation). This EGR system had a lot of problems, a friend of mine had to replace his in his 2011 Golf TDI and it ended up costing $2000.   VW had to implement this to meet Euro 5 emissions.  Even before the scandal they couldn't meet Euro6.

To meet Euro6 they have had to start using Ad Blue (Ammonia) injection like Mercedes has been doing since Euro5.  VW didn't want to pay royalties to MB back in about 2010, so they tried to tweek the emissions enough to meet the US standards.

The thing about Ad Blue is that it virtually eliminates Nox, and it allows the designers more freedom to tune the diesel engines, and now they have even lower torque curves and run much quieter and more efficiently.  The fuel savins probably pay for the ad blue.  I am certain VW regrets the decision not to pay the royalties and go to Ad Blue in 2010.


jeff montanye's picture

thank you.  good comment.

the detroit stadium particularly offers a surreal, elegiac image for the excess of production into a dearth of demand.  what nearly always upends capitalism for a while.

VWAndy's picture

 On board diagnostics was not ever really about pollution. Its about control.

neidermeyer's picture

This goes way back to the early 1990's at least ,, GM had a trigger in their engine computers in Cadillacs that turned off all the emissions equipment when the A/C was on ... they ran the tests with the A/C off and passed... 

Akzed's picture

These VW's get better gas mileage than if they were emissions compliant. So, six of one and a half dozen of the other. But the EPA must not be crossed, or you'll get crucified like the Romans did or something.

Oh regional Indian's picture

THIS is capitalism at it's fuckeduppest. Or what passes for central banker driven so -called capitalism. Like perfectly servicable aircraft parked in bone-yards while they make newer, plastic-ier, breakable shite....

Mis-allocation of everything at every turn.... A joo-fueled nightmare...

But this is not new...

This is from 1926.... if you read deep enough, you WILL weep!


Automatic Choke's picture

We loved our TDI Jetta.   6-spd stickshift, turbo, stationwagon.   cornered like it was on rails.  tight engineering, a real pleasure to drive.  fantastic mileage and large tank...gave incredible range.   Sold it back to VW last winter for a couple hundred bucks less than the $28k we paid for it new three years earlier.   Bought a gas turbo Golf....still nice, but seems like a shame.   Our wonderful Jetta is probably sitting in that San Bernadino lot, pining for a driver.

None of this makes any sense.

Oh regional Indian's picture

Indeed. But if you look at the bankster mind-set, where even humans are "capital", what then to speak of the machines..... there is a gene missing in the zio-joo-bankster.... severely lacking as human beings.... sounds extreme when speaking of junking 500,000 cars, but in a fractal world, it is reflected everywhere....

jeff montanye's picture

don't know as i'd go so far as a missing gene in the zio/jews but occupying someone else's land as an apartheid theocracy for going on six times longer than the third reich can't be a good influence on anyone's humanity.

9Ball's picture

I'm making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do...

New_Meat's picture

MDB's bot finished its other spamming duties early

Jubal Early's picture

"None of this makes any sense."

It takes more energy to manufacture an automobile than will ever be consumed by it, at least that used to be true.   And I would bet that more NOx is produced in the manufacture of a new compliant VW than the operation of an old non compliant one.  Not to mention "Greenhouse" gasses.

This is really about the holocaust.  Seriousy.  Germany must never forget, so in a thousand ways every day they are forced to pay.  But then everyone across the west pays an entire myriad of jew taxes, from kosher CE certification of food to money supply and interest rates. 

buttmint's picture

Occam's-Sock'em Razor...

.....what happened just a few months PRIOR to DieselGate and VW getting busted for penny ante horseshit?

The Obama Administration BECAME OWNER OF GM---how to boost your balance sheet? Bust the chops of the world biggest selling brand, your main competetitor---but be

a sneaky fuck about the whole thing. This is US Govvie pissing all over Germany and VW over current politics, deficits and Germany turning EAST to the Eurasian Trade Zone. US Gov't shithead actions are DRIVING the Germans to embrace the East.


You can make anything as complex as you want, but this was a huge-assed warning shot by US Govvie to Germany "...don't get too uppity---you are STILL OUR NIGGAHS."

Hence...VWs sitting forlornly all over. One of the best vehicles every produced rotting away.


Makes me root for the Norks wanting to nuke DC. Put the assholes in DC outta their misery already!

artichoke's picture

Now it should be the Palestinians paying, but they don't create anything we could take.

new game's picture

the utter waste and consumption brought forward by humans with china as # one with empty cities and many parts for autos sourced there. iron, concrete, rare earth metals and what about the MIC and world wide arming up to defend? all fueled and funded by this debt/ponzi scheme. at it's heart is the utter destruction of planet earth and humans as an "inferior" species...

alarming to any rational person. symtoms of the great debt/banker/deep stateS pulling the strings of millions of chasers of this false wealth and happiness.

fuking sic mutherfuks...

seeing this insanity by so many, a rational person says; i just don't give a fuk anymoar.

New_Meat's picture

nah, no one says "fuk"

pgroup's picture

No offense but the "serviceable" aircraft in those boneyards are only serviceable if they have airframe recertifications. IOW, the airframes reached their lifespans for safety and therefore must be decertified for flight.

You may have seen the horrifying video of the firefighting plane with its wings coming off on its way to crashing. It was beyond its airworthiness due to airframe lifespan but the USFS has an exemption under the law so it can pick an aircraft out of the boneyard and use it WITHOUT AN AIRFRAME RECERT.

The USFS doesn't tell the firefighters who travel in those planes that the vehicle is unsafe. Murder, in my book.

Oh regional Indian's picture

Interesting, but from my understanding there are THOUSANDS of perfectly usable aircraft, including military ones (the worst offenders).... I've seen them (I know I know, visual means nothing when it comes to planes), but th etruth of the boneyard as artificial demand creator is well known. The incident you mention is clearly a USFS mistake. I've flown in 154 airframes and felt safe. Likewise for sircrafts from the 60's and 70's. It's pressurized aircraft that need deeper inspection (thin skinned).

Nonetheless, I'll stick to th eessence of what I'm saying....

We are drowning in a glut of supply side production with nowhere to go....

PT's picture

You know, this is an ideal job for a chop-shop - they don't even need to chop, they just need to "re-birth".  And the problem can just quietly go away.

PT's picture

I'm surprised that so many people returned their cars.  Was their some kind of penalty on the owners if they did not comply?  What if they just said they complied?

Jethro Dull's picture

Yes, Have to do NDI (Non-Destructive Inspections). They are done periodically. But, the cycles of the aircraft landing and taking off --- as well as in some case extreme maneuvers --- take a toll. Airframes are checked for cracking (NDI) and corrosion. Over time the maintenance curves go up up and away. Any aircraft left sitting on the ground for any amount of time, will, actually break more.

artichoke's picture

Hm, I thought I observed on one of my cars (a Merc and a Chrysler, can't remember which one atm) seemed to run better with the AC on and got fine gas mileage too.  Maybe it was the Merc.

Maybe I'll run it with the AC on more often! 

junction's picture

You mean they have former U.S. Attorneys in the law frms that represent them.  What happens when the government decides that certain makes of Citizens are defective, where will they store these people?    

opport.knocks's picture

Same places,,, Flint, Camden, Baltimore,...

Those cars would make for a great apartment in some cities.

New_Meat's picture

Silicon Valley Slaves would think they'd died and gone to heaven

artichoke's picture

Basically the diesel requirements are beyond engineering feasibility, and so cheating is required.  That leaves everyone open to selective prosecution, which is just how people like Obama want it.

VW or Germany must not have greased the right palms.

Freddie's picture

GM-Obama-UAW also f**ked over Saab.  They bought them, I think, beforethe UAW Obama bailout.

GM then wanted to kill Saab. Saab found a Chinese buyer then GM said no.  Essentially just wanted to kill Saab so peopel in Sweden would lose jobs.  I am not sure what happened.   F GM.

Oh regional Indian's picture

Saabs. gorgeous cars, unique, quirky, fast, best handling FWD cars (after Peugeot) ..... loved them....too bad they were infected by Gubbermint Motors.....

kiwidor's picture

fuck man, you talk some shit sometimes.  SAAB's were great for about 70 thousand km and then they all turned to crap.  interiors fell to bits, gaskets, bearings, and worst of all, electrical faults up the kazoo. 

Damn you to driving one for all eternity for talking up such a crap car.