Volkswagen’s U.S. subsidiary is offering $1,000 worth of credit cards to customers who purchased an emissions cheating diesel vehicle.
$500 from each card will be useable at Volkswagen dealerships, and $500 will be redeemable as a prepaid Visa card.
The program could cost VW nearly $500 million, half of which could help dealers attract new sales during a negative time in the company’s history.
One possible solution VW has discussed with U.S. and California emissions regulators is the ability to buy back vehicles from customers.
Democratic Senators Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Edward Markey of Massachusetts have called the new credit plan “insultingly inadequate” and “a fig leaf attempting to hide the true depths of Volkswagen’s deception.”
The senators added that VW “should offer every owner a buy-back option” and “should state clearly and unequivocally that every owner has the right to sue.”
VW has said about 482,000 cars sold in the United States since 2009 with four-cylinder diesel engines had software installed that allowed the engines to pass government tests for emissions.
On Monday, the automaker posted details of its “goodwill package” at www.vwdieselinfo.com.
To qualify for the credit card offer, VW diesel owners must go to the company website, enter a vehicle identification number (VIN) and provide mileage and contact information.
VW will send the refunds out by mail.
Once the cards arrive customers must take them to a VW dealership for verification.
Customers will not have to sign anything or relinquish and of their rights.