CARFAX Risk Factor Statistics for Volkswagen (US imports)
At least 69,511 cars were exported from the U.S. to Europe since 1992. The Volkswagen Passat is with 40% by far the most exported VW from the U.S. to Europe.
A salvage title is issued when an insurance company has decided via its policy not to reinvest in a damaged vehicle, because the cost of repair is higher than the residual value of the vehicle. Although these cars are normally scrapped, some are repaired illegally and sold/exported to Europe. Other cars have a stolen VIN and somehow appear in Europe with the history of another vehicle. We recommend our customers to check the vehicle history of the car before buying. There are currently 22.067 U.S. exported VW vehicles in Europe with a history of a salvage title. That is almost 1/3 of all U.S. exported Volkswagen cars in Europe.
Another risk factor for VW is airbag deployment. Presently, there are 4,613 VW vehicles in Europe that were imported from the U.S. with a history of airbag deployment. Airbag deployment itself doesn’t have to be dangerous, yet airbag deployment infers that a thorough reparation is needed. CARFAX has detected that, especially for vehicles exported from the U.S., this is not always the case. Many times, the airbags are recovered at the lowest cost possible, which means that they don’t offer full protection or functionality as was promised by the manufacturer.
Certainly not less important is the risk factor of flood history. Since many states in the U.S. are exposed to varying extreme weather conditions, a logical consequence is that some cars are affected by flood damage. What happens is that many of these cars with such a history are exported to Europe, putting European import consumers at risk with such vehicles. In case of VW, there are 1,406 vehicles in Europe with a history of flood damage. Thoroughly check the history of your vehicle to prevent financial surprises.