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Here’s where Volkswagen’s cheating diesels await their fate

Published Mar 29th, 2017 4:14PM EDT
vw buyback video
Image: jacuzzibusguy

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Volkswagen’s buyback of its emissions-cheating diesel vehicles is still ongoing, and while the whole incident has largely disappeared from the headlines, the process of actually dealing with all those polluting cars is still a very real problem for the company. It’s easy to imagine the cars ending up in a big warehouse, being parted out or modified so that they’re not such a burden on Mother Nature, but that’s simply not what’s actually happening. This drone video from Michigan tells the real story, showing thousands of totally functional, dirty diesels just sitting and waiting for whatever VW decides it wants to do with them. 

The video comes from a Youtube user by the name of Jacuzzibusguy — that name alone suggests he’s a pretty fun dude — who shot it via drone outside of the Pontiac Silverdome. The Silverdome, which used to host the Detroit Lions and other events, is awaiting demolition, and so its parking lot space isn’t exactly in high demand. That is, unless you’re a major carmaker who needs a place to ditch a ton of cars it had to buy back from its customers.

As the video description notes, this is just one of many collection “centers” scattered around the country where dealers who participated in the buyback process drop off the vehicles while Volkswagen decides exactly what it wants to do with them. The company hasn’t revealed detailed plans for dealing with the cars, and the heavy modifications that would be required to get them legally back on the road could make scrapping or parting them out the most financially sound strategy.