Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

The Only Winners in Volkswagen's Diesel Mess Are Drivers

A half-million tainted cars head to the scrap heap, and owners walk away with up to $44,000.

Jeremy Malczyk's 2012 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen is no prize. It has 70,000 hard miles on it, and the interior has been finely detailed by his two young children: beige leather buffed with beige Cheerios. But the vehicle comes equipped with a two-liter diesel engine doctored to cheat on emissions tests, so it will likely fetch almost $22,000 (PDF) in Volkswagen's buyback program. A similarly used Sportwagen without the dirty diesel would fetch about $9,000 on the open market.

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