You may see them soon at your local dealer.
Do you remember that minor incident regarding Volkswagen diesel models? Yeah, the one where VW was forced to spend billions of dollars to buyback and repair thousands of diesel models in the US and Europe. In the US specifically, VW didn't know what to do with all of the cars it was forced to buy back so it resorted to storing over 350,000 of them at 37 facilities around the country.
Some of these facilities are massive and include unused football stadiums, abandoned paper mills, and even patches of desert. We were pretty curious to know what was going to happen to all of these cars and so were the folks at Autocar. At the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, Autocar met with a VW spokesperson to get an answer.
The spokesperson told Autocar that the cars will be retrofitted with the correct software. Then, depending on their age and condition, they will be sold to dealers, sent to auction, or scrapped. VW didn't specify the exact criteria for deciding which models will be saved and which ones will be scrapped but we assume newer, low mile examples like a 2014 Passat with less than 100,000 miles will be saved. On the other hand, an older example with over 100,000 miles likely won't be worth saving.
If you don't mind accepting the current stigma of driving a diesel car, this may be a nice opportunity to score a VW car at an affordable price. The "fix" for these cars did hurt their fuel economy, though we suppose you could just tune it to run on its original power (of course, we in no way condone such behavior).
VW says it will send the cars to market in waves so their value doesn't plummet. Amazingly, there is still a strong demand for diesel even after the scandal, so VW says residual values may be higher than you'd think. The timetable for this process is still a bit unclear but we are happy to see these diesels get back on the market.