Volkswagen’s US subsidiary said the company is offering a $1,000 gift card to emission scandal affected US owners.
Eligible customers of nearly 500,000 owning VW and Audi models powered by 2.0-litre TDI diesel engines can apply to receive a $500 prepaid Visa card and $500 dealership card and free roadside assistance services for three years. Half of the gift cards are to be spent at Audi and Volkswagen dealerships.
The scandal surfaced in September when VW admitted it had manipulated U.S. tests for NO2 emissions. EPA(Environmental Protection Agency) issued a second notice of violation against the German automaker with additional vehicles from Audi and Porsche in primary focus on November 3rd.
It opened up a new chapter in the investigation of Volkswagen’s deceitful practice. The newest findings by environmental regulators confirmed the presence of emission-cheating software on the new 2015 Porsche Cayenne and the to-be-launched 2016 Audi A6 Quattro, A7 Quattro, A8, A8L, and Q5.
VW said on Monday it has been exploring possible remedies to alleviate further reputation damage which included buying back some of the affected models from customers. However, attorneys general from 47 US states and the District of Columbia vowed that VW’s offering to appease consumers “in no way diminishes(investigation over VW) the seriousness of the deceptive practices and environmental harms”.
The German manufacturer has already confirmed that 482,000 cars sold in the US since 2009 with four-pod diesel engines had been installed with software that allowed to pass government tests for nitrogen oxide emissions but in normal operation pollute at levels way beyond US federal standards.
The customer offer does not cover models equipped with the 3.0 V6 TDI diesel engines including the Touareg. VW diesel owners should go to the company website and enter a vehicle identification number and provide other relevant information. VW will e-mail the cards before activate them following the vehicle’s verification with VW dealers.
The financial consequence of the scandal has aggravated tensions between Volkswagen management and labor leaders over plans to slash about 1 billion euros ($1.08 billion) spending per year through 2019 in their homeland of Germany.