Volkswagen hasn’t announced how it will be fixing vehicles involved in its diesel scandal, but it has assembled a new “goodwill package” for its customers.
Included in the offer is a $500 prepaid Visa gift card, a $500 credit that can be used at participating Volkswagen dealers and 24-hour roadside assistance for the next three years. The package is only available to those that currently own an affected vehicle.
Following the release of VW’s goodwill package, Sens. Edward Markey (D., Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.) released a statement saying the company isn’t doing enough for its customers.
“This offer is an insultingly inadequate amount – a fig leaf attempting to hide the true depths of Volkswagen’s deception,” the senators wrote. “Volkswagen should offer every owner a buy-back option. It should offer every owner who wants to keep her car full compensation for the loss of resale value, fuel economy, and other damage caused by its purposeful deception. Volkswagen should cooperate fully with federal criminal and civil investigations that will provide redress for taxpayers as well car owners – the company needs to get serious.”
Sens. Markey and Blumenthal added that they are concerned owners accepting the goodwill package will lose other rights. On its website, however, Volkswagen said the goodwill package doesn’t mean customers must waive anything, stating:
“Affected customers eligible for the Goodwill Package are not required to waive their rights or release their claims against VWGoA in order to receive the Package.”
Autotrader Senior Analyst Michelle Krebs said the package was a positive step for the company to take, but ultimately Volkswagen needed to repair the cars.
“Volkswagen must lay out a plan how it will fix affected cars,” said Krebs. “These are good and necessary first steps but Volkswagen has much more work to do ahead.”
Depending on the model, either new hardware components or software upgrades will likely be needed to bring the diesel engines back into emissions compliance. Volkswagen has yet to describe how it will address the issue for the nearly 11 million cars affected worldwide.
“We are working tirelessly to develop an approved remedy for affected vehicles,” said Michael Horn, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America. “In the meantime we are providing this goodwill package as a first step towards regaining our customers’ trust.”