Things aren’t getting any easier for Volkswagen.
When the diesel emissions scandal broke in September, the problem was limited to 11 million vehicles equipped with the company’s 2.0-liter TDI engine. That alone was a crippling blow to the company that some estimates said could top $18 billion in damages.
The situation hasn’t improved in the weeks since.
Volkswagen, at least publicly, has done very little to let customers know how it will proceed in fixing the affected vehicles. In the meantime, the U.S. government has accused VW of cheating on additional vehicles, and Volkswagen itself has found another 800,000 cars that are probably affected.
An article at Yahoo News says,
In the United States, authorities late Monday accused VW of fitting illegal “defeat devices” not only on its smaller engines, but also into various six-cylinder 3.0 liter diesel VW Touareg, Porsche Cayenne and Audis.
Sales of those vehicles have been suspended in North America and VW must now contend with the scandal spreading beyond its small VW-branded diesels, even though it adamantly maintains that no “defeat devices” were installed on the larger engines.
The additional 800,000 cars are European models equipped with 1.4, 1.6, and 2.0-liter motors, which could add another $2 billion to VW’s running total.
There’s no way to estimate how deep this will go or how long it’ll take to get resolved, and VW owners are left with a confusing array of options for how to proceed while they wait.
Volkswagen offered current owners a discount on a new Volkswagen if they traded in their affected model, which a suspicious customer-base was leery to accept. A new offer, which VW is calling the “Goodwill Program,” offers some cash and a free road-side service subscription.
That offer has been called an “insultingly inadequate amount” by the U.S. Senate committee that oversees auto safety. It includes a $500 gift card that can be used anywhere, a $500 gift card that can only be used at a Volkswagen dealer, and three years of free roadside assistance. The committee said that “Volkswagen should offer every owner who wants to keep their car full compensation for the loss of resale value, fuel economy and other damage caused by its purposeful deception.”
There’s also the question of whether or not accepting the Goodwill Program limits the customer’s ability to sue in the future. Volkswagen says it doesn’t, but others aren’t so sure.
Automotive News says,
A VW spokeswoman said the goodwill program does not include a waiver of legal claims stemming from the company’s emissions violations. The program’s terms and conditions include a trial by jury waiver, but that waiver only extends to claims related to the compensation program and does not affect a customer’s right to sue VW for claims related to its 2.0-liter diesel emissions violations.
There are no easy answers here, but we want to know:
If you own a Volkswagen diesel, how would you like the company to compensate you?