Volkswagen has taken parking lots to a whole new level in the United States -- and will not be emptying them soon.
Volkswagen AG has paid more than $7.4 billion to buy back about 350,000 U.S. diesel vehicles through mid-February, a recent court filing shows. The German automaker has been storing hundreds of thousands of vehicles around the United States for months.
Volkswagen has 37 secure storage facilities around the United States housing nearly 300,000 vehicles, the filing from the program's independent administrator said. The lots include a shuttered suburban Detroit football stadium, a former Minnesota paper mill and a sun-bleached desert graveyard near Victorville, Calif.
VW spokeswoman Jeannine Ginivan said in a statement on Wednesday that the storage facility in 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 buybacks will continue through the end of 2019.
The court filing 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.