2015 Volkswagen Touareg TDI
VW’s ever-expanding diesel-emissions cheating scandal has put the global behemoth on its heels. Yet as the situation continues to unfold, U.S. owners of the affected diesel models have been left in limbo, unsure of the next steps to take or how the automaker plans to address the situation. One piece of the puzzle now has been revealed, however, first via The Truth About Cars and then The New York Times: VW plans to give owners two prepaid debit cards. The plan subsequently has been officially added to VW’s special website for the scandal, www.vwdieselinfo.com.
The pair of cards hardly illuminates the way forward for owners of noncompliant diesel-fueled Volkswagens, but it’s the first move the automaker has made in an attempt to pacify its U.S. customers. One of the cards has $500 in value and can be used anywhere and for anything—even TDI badge-removal kits, if that’s your thing—while the other is worth between $500 and $750 and can be used only at VW dealers for service, accessories, and the like. Volkswagen is calling the initiative the “2.0L TDI Customer Goodwill Package,” and as the name implies, it is available only to owners of affected 2.0-liter TDI diesel models. Owners of models with the 3.0-liter TDI V-6, which recently was added to the list of noncompliant VW engines, will have to wait and see if they get some goodwill of their own. The full statement as posted by VW on its diesel-scandal site: “On September 18, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board notified Volkswagen that certain 2.0L 4-cylinder TDI vehicles do not comply with applicable emissions regulations.
Over the past several weeks, we’ve apologized to our loyal customers about the 2.0L TDI emissions issue. As we work tirelessly to develop a remedy, we ask for your continued patience.
In the meantime, we’re providing affected 2.0L TDI® owners with a $500 Volkswagen Prepaid Visa® Loyalty Card, a $500 Volkswagen Dealership Card, and no-charge 24-hour Roadside Assistance for three years. We sincerely hope you see this as a first step toward restoring your invaluable trust.”
Owners interested in the Goodwill Package must visit www.vwdieselinfo.com/goodwill_package to verify their vehicle’s eligibility. As of now, there’s no indication that accepting the offer would preclude an owner from joining one of the class-action lawsuits pending against VW, but we’d recommend owners contact Volkswagen or a lawyer if they intend to pursue legal action.