Volkswagen AG has paid more than $7.4 billion to buy back about 350,000 U.S. diesel vehicles stored in 37 centres in the United States through mid-February.
The German automaker has been storing hundreds of thousands of vehicles around the United States for months.
The lots include a shuttered suburban Detroit football stadium, a former Minnesota paper mill and a sun-bleached desert graveyard near Victorville, California.
VW spokeswoman Jeannine Ginivan said in a statement that the storage facility in Victorville, California, is one of many “to ensure the responsible storage of vehicles that are bought back under the terms of the Volkswagen” diesel settlements.
“These vehicles are being stored on an interim basis and routinely maintained in a manner to ensure their long-term operability and quality, so that they may be returned to commerce or exported once U.S. regulators approve appropriate emissions modifications,” she said.
In total, VW has agreed to spend more than $25 billion in the United States for claims from owners, environmental regulators, states and dealers and offered to buy back about 500,000 polluting U.S. vehicles. The buy backs will continue through the end of 2019.
The court fling said through Dec. 31 Volkswagen had reacquired 335,000 diesel vehicles, resold 13,000 and destroyed about 28,000 vehicles. As of the end of last year, VW was storing 294,000 vehicles around the country.
VW must buy back or fix 85 per cent of the vehicles involved by June 2019 or face higher payments for emissions.
The company said in February it has repaired or fixed nearly 83 per cent of covered vehicles and expects to soon hit the requirement.
Through mid-February VW has issued 437,273 letters offering nearly $8 billion in compensation and buybacks.