The embattled carmaker is 'working to make things right' after its use of devices to cheat on U.S. emissions testing became public. Lawmakers call the measure "a fig leaf."
Less than two months after the Environmental Protection Agency revealed that Volkswagen equipped 482,000 of its vehicles sold in the United States with software that enabled them to cheat emissions inspections, the German automaker is “working to make things right” with some of its American customers.
VW is offering a goodwill package, which includes a $500 prepaid Visa card, $500 VW dealership card and three years of free 24-hour roadside assistance, to owners of its new and used 2-liter, four-cylinder diesel vehicles affected by the emissions cheating scandal. The same offer extends to owners of Audi vehicles affected by the scandal.
“We are working tirelessly to develop an approved remedy for affected vehicles,” Michael Horn, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, said in a statement. “In the meantime, we are providing this Goodwill Package as a first step towards regaining our customers’ trust.”
The German automaker said customers who are eligible for and accept the $1,000 offering are not surrendering their right to sue VW or give up potential future compensation.
“There are no stipulations,” Volkswagen spokeswoman Jeannine Ginivan confirmed in an email to USA Today.
U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts issued a joint statement describing the $1,000 package as “an insultingly inadequate amount – a fig leaf attempting to hide the true depths of Volkswagen’s deception.” The statement continued:
Volkswagen should offer every owner a buy-back option. The company should state clearly and unequivocally that every owner has the right to sue. It should offer every owner who wants to keep her car full compensation for the loss of resale value, fuel economy, and other damage caused by its purposeful deception. Volkswagen should cooperate fully with federal criminal and civil investigations that will provide redress for taxpayers as well [as] car owners – the company needs to get serious.
More than 11 million vehicles worldwide were purposefully fitted with so-called defeat devices that allowed the vehicles to cheat emissions regulations.
You can check on your eligibility and apply for the goodwill offer and by visiting VWDieselInfo.com.
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