Damage limitation: VW apologizes for emissions scandal in full-page newspaper ads

2015 VW Golf Sportwagen badge front
As part of ongoing efforts to limit the damage caused by the recent emissions scandal and win back the trust of consumers, Volkswagen on Sunday took out a series of full-page newspaper ads promising it’s “working to make things right.”

The ads ran in major publications across the U.S. including the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, LA Times, and Chicago Tribune, Ad Age reported.

In the ad, VW Group of America CEO Michael Horn insists his company is working “tirelessly” to establish the most efficient way of dealing with the crisis, with steps at some point expected to involve vehicle recalls for hardware and software adjustments.

The CEO asked affected VW owners for their “continued patience,” though with a full two months passing since the scandal broke, some will be wondering just how long the company needs to sort out the recall plan.

Horn also used the ad to highlight VW’s recently announced “goodwill package” offering affected 2-liter diesel owners a $500 VW Visa prepaid loyalty card, a $500 VW dealership card, and free roadside assistance for three years.

Commenting on the package, Horn says in the ad, “We sincerely hope you see this as a first step toward restoring your invaluable trust.”

The embattled automaker is desperately trying to restore its reputation after it was found to be using sophisticated “defeat device” software with its diesel cars to cheat lab-based pollution tests. Outside of the tests, the cars are emitting pollutants up to 40 times what the law permits.

It’s thought that some drivers may ignore any future recall, fearful that software and hardware alterations will degrade their car’s performance and fuel efficiency, Auto News recently reported.

The software is present in around 11 million diesel-powered vehicles globally, including in vehicles manufactured by other VW-owned firms such as Audi, SEAT, and Skoda. Around half a million of the affected automobiles are on U.S. roads.


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