Early auction data show that prices of used Volkswagen diesels are slumping, following the company's admission that it cheated on emission tests.
Kelley Blue Book said prices of VW diesel engine-equipped vehicles fell an average of 13 percent, or $1,676, between mid-September and Oct. 2.
Prices of those vehicles' gasoline-powered twins fell 2 percent, or $222, in the same period.
KBB analyst Tim Fleming said the results are very early and used-vehicle prices typically decline this time of year. Still, he said, "Thirteen percent is a lot, especially for two weeks' worth of data."
Fleming said, "The market for these vehicles is up in the air. It's not a normal market. These are auction prices, what dealers are paying for them. I was surprised to see such a change so quickly."
The drop comes on thin sales. NADA Used Car Guide said that auction volume of compact VW diesel cars and their gasoline-powered twins dropped an average of 4 percent in the two-week period that ended Oct. 3. In the same period, unit auction sales of compact cars overall rose 4 percent.
NADA Used Car Guide also noted that auction sales of VW diesel vehicles were low even before the scandal hit.
For example, sales of VW Jetta diesels averaged approximately 80-90 units per week leading up to the emissions-tampering disclosure, while sales of Passat diesels averaged roughly 30 per week.
Larry Dixon, an NADA guide analyst, said he would need to gather more data before drawing conclusions about VW diesel prices.
But Dixon and Fleming agreed that future used VW diesel car values will depend on how VW will bring the vehicles into compliance and how that fix affects their fuel economy and performance.