In an effort to rehabilitate the car company’s image, Volkswagen has announced that they are offering Visa gift cards and various credits to the VW and Audi car owners with vehicles who have the software that cheats emissions regulations. For the 482,000 U.S. drivers affected by the emissions scandal, the German car company says that they will offer a $500 dealership credit, free road side assistance for three years, and a $500 Visa debit card that can be used anywhere. Volkswagen is already offering VW owners $2,000 to trade in their cars for new vehicles, adding the gift cards and vouchers would add $1,000 to that.
Volkswagen U.S. CEO Michael Horn said in a statement,
”We are working tirelessly to develop an approved remedy for affected vehicles. In the meantime, we are providing this goodwill package as a first step towards regaining our customers’ trust.”
Volkswagen says that there are no strings attached with receiving the ‘goodwill package’. Meaning, those who accept the offer will not be giving up their right to take legal action or participate in a class-action lawsuit. In order for Volkswagen and Audi owners to receive the vouchers, they will have to visit VWDieselInfo.com and register. After registration, owners will receive their “goodwill package” in four weeks. From there, owners can take the package to a local VW dealership to receive their Visa debit card and VW gift card.
The Associated Press cited the credit rating agency, Fitch, downgraded Volkswagen’s debt by two levels on Monday, reflecting the potential financial costs of the scandal. Fitch also suggests the possibility that not all of Volkwagon’s problems have been uncovered. The diesel-powered vehicles included in the offer are the four-cylinder 2009-15 Jetta TDI, 2009-14 VW Jetta SportWagen TDI, 2010-15 VW Golf TDI, 2015 VW Golf SportWagen TDI, 2012-15 VW Beetle TDI and VW Beetle Convertible TDI and the 2012-15 VW Passat TDI.
For Audi owners, vehicles that apply are the 2009-15 diesel Audi A3.