Volkswagen clearly has a lot of work to do before it can regain the trust of the automotive world. Fences must be mended and changes must be made, and as the Dieselgate fiasco continues to unfold, the German automaker is looking to make peace with its customers.
For owners of the 2.0-liter diesel engine at the center of the emissions scandal, Volkswagen is sending out a goodwill package that includes a $500 Visa Loyalty Card, a $500 Volkswagen Dealership Card, and three years of free 24-hour roadside assistance. Customers can visit VW’s dedicated website to check their eligibility, however the package is expected to take four weeks to arrive and recipients must go to a participating dealership to activate it. The deadline for registration is April 30, 2016.
As of this writing, the Goodwill Package only includes eligibility for Volkswagen-branded cars equipped with the 2.0-liter TDI engine. The EPA has found that some Audi, Porsche, and Volkswagen vehicles equipped with the 3.0-liter diesel V6 were fitted with the emissions “defeat device” as well, and according to Automotive News, Audi is working on a similar program that will launch on November 13.
While a show of good faith is a start, Volkswagen has not yet revealed concrete plans for owner compensation, vehicle returns, or vehicle repairs. “We cannot offer a firm date now because we need to work on the remedy and review it with the government,” the website reads. “We are proceeding as quickly as possible.”
Whatever the solution is, a variety of repairs will be necessary depending on the vehicle in question. Approximately 325,000 models using the first-generation 2.0-liter TDI will need both hardware and software adjustments, which could be complicated enough to leave drivers without their cars for some time. Second-generation powerplants may need digital and physical changes as well, but newer, third-generation examples vehicles should be able to get by with a quick software update.
Regulatory actions, fines, and lawsuits are just revving up, so there will undoubtedly be more news to come in the coming weeks.