Volkswagen has launched a cash incentive program in an attempt to appease owners of diesel cars rigged to cheat emissions testing.
VW will give eligible drivers who own one of the TDI cars affected by the diesel emissions scandal $500 loaded onto a prepaid Visa card and $500 that can be redeemed at Volkswagen dealerships. Three years worth of 24-hour roadside assistance has also been thrown into the package, which VW hopes will help restore trust in the company.
Although Volkswagen has not yet revealed how it will fix the affected cars, a source close to the matter says the German automaker will begin recalling vehicles in the U.S. in February. The same source says that VW has put aside $4-billion to fix the cars and to fund the goodwill package.
Volkswagen has previously given financial assistance to dealerships because they have been hugely affected by a stop-sale on diesel cars, meaning dealerships have loads of unsalable inventory. The cash incentive program is the first step VW has taken to appease TDI car owners.
Currently, the cash incentives are only available to owners of the 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel engine from 2009 to 2015 model year cars. Owners can see if their car is eligible by entering their VIN on this VW website, www.vwdieselinfo.com. If they are eligible and apply for the package, they should receive their cards within four weeks, and then they must take their cards to the dealership to activate. For more information on the process and eligibility, visit VW’s FAQ site here.
Last week, the EPA said that some of VW’s 3.0L V6 diesels were equipped with the same illegal software, but Volkswagen has so far denied these cars are affected. Audi is also working on its own similar incentive program, which will launch Nov. 13.