Owners of Volkswagen vehicles with the 2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbodiesel (TDI) engine has been in quite a pickle over these past few months. It was revealed that Volkswagen weaseled its way to top-of-the-class fuel economy by cheating EPA emissions tests, affecting nearly 500,000 vehicles sold in the United States and over 11 million worldwide. Since that time, TDI owners have had to sit on their hands as resale values have fallen amid uncertainty concerning how Volkswagen will address the problem.
This week, we’re getting a little insight into how Volkswagen will eventually compensate current TDI owners. According to information leaked by dealerships that were informed about the “TDI Goodwill Program,” Volkswagen will offer two prepaid cards to TDI owners. The first will be in the amount of $500 and can be used anywhere. The second prepaid card, which will range from between $500 to $750, will only be redeemable at Volkswagen dealerships.
It is not known if customers can only use the card towards the purchase of a new vehicle, or if it can be used towards future service visits — Volkswagen would be wise to allow the latter to stave off any more ridicule. Customers will need to bring their vehicles to a local Volkswagen dealership to prove ownership and have the cards activated.
In the grand scheme of things, a maximum of $1,250 is nothing to scoff at, but for those that simply want to bail on Volkswagen altogether and perhaps switch to another brand following this whole TDI fiasco, you’re going to have to settle for the $500 handout and be on your way.
Volkswagen is facing numerous class action lawsuits, along with legal action from a number of U.S. states. That’s not to mention that the company is under the legal microscope in other countries for its deceptive practices. And in the past week, attention has been focused on the company’s larger 3.0-liter V6 TDI engine [PDF] that is used in Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche vehicles. And most recently, Volkswagen design chief Walter Maria de Silva quit his post.