Volkswagen ‘working to make things right’ by offering $500 gift cards to diesel owners

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.


Driving a prototype 2020 Passat at Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground

Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground is where new cars are tested to the breaking point, including the 2020 Passat midsize sedan. Ride along as the new Passat completes testing ahead of its 2019 launch.
Product Review

This was 3D printed? With the Anycubic Photon, you can't tell

Never mind the fact that the Anycubic Photon 3D printer only costs 500 bucks. In terms of sheer print quality, this printer is on the same level as machines that cost six times as much.

Thinking of opting for a car with a diesel engine? Here's what you need to know

Modern diesel-powered models prove that it is possible to build a clean, efficient diesel engine without sacrificing performance. Here's what you need to know about diesel cars, and how they differ from gasoline-powered models.

On a budget? We found the best affordable smartphones you can buy

Here are the best cheap phones for anyone working with a tight budget, whether you're a fan of stock Android or marathon battery life. Find out what you can get for under $500 or far, far less as we round up the best budget smartphones.

NYC mandates minimum wage for Uber, Lyft, other app-based rideshare drivers

New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission approved a rule that drivers for companies such as Uber and Lyft must be paid at least minimum wage, even though they are independent contractors. The new pay rate includes operating costs.

LM Industries’ autonomous shuttles head to Phoenix, Sacramento campuses

LM Industries will deploy Olli low-speed autonomous shuttles at school campuses in Arizona and California as part of its ongoing "fleet challenge," which asks local groups to propose uses for autonomous vehicles.

McLaren puts the pedal to the metal in special-edition OnePlus 6T

The OnePlus 6T is yet another flagship killer smartphone, bringing powerful specifications to a much lower price than the competition. Now, OnePlus has teamed up with McLaren for the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition.

Bosch’s CES-bound shuttle concept takes us on a trip to a not-too-distant future

Bosch envisions a future in which driverless shuttles occupy their own market segment. The German firm won't build the shuttles, but it wants to provide everything else, ranging from the drive system to the apps used to hail them.
Emerging Tech

A lidar-equipped truck knows exactly how much de-icer to apply on roads

Lidar is best known as the laser-based technology that helps self-driving cars sense their surroundings. But the city of Knoxville has another, more seasonal use for it: De-icing roads.
Product Review

Boring takes a back seat as 2019 Corolla Hatchback mixes fun with practicality

We drive the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback, the latest hatchback to bear the Corolla name. As the best-selling nameplate in automotive history, Toyota has high expectations to meet. This model mostly lives up to the legacy.

Hertz speeds up car rentals with biometric scan technology

Biometric security technology that uses face, fingerprint, and voice recognition is gaining traction, with Hertz emerging as the latest company to incorporate it into its daily operations.
Product Review

Inside Maserati's Levante SUV beats the heart of a Ferrari

Maserati’s luxury SUV gets a shot in the arm by way of Ferrari-derived V8 power, but is it enough to go toe-to-toe with the established players in the high performance sport-utility segment? Let’s find out.

Aston Martin’s 1,000-hp Valkyrie will boast the Mona Lisa of the engine world

Aston Martin has released new details about its F1-inspired Valkyrie hypercar. Co-developed with Red Bull Racing, the Valkyrie will be one of the most aerodynamic production cars ever made.

The redesigned 2020 Passat shows Volkswagen still believes in sedans

The sedan segment in America is shrinking, but Volkswagen still believes in it. The German firm has released a teaser sketch to preview the redesigned 2020 Passat it will introduce during the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.