Volkswagen has rolled out a Goodwill Package for owners of four-cylinder diesel vehicles that have come under scrutiny for polluting more than the government allows. It may not be enough to win the hearts and minds of every scorned lover, but it's a good stopgap as the company works to devise a method for fixing every affected vehicle.
After several days of rumors, Volkswagen finally launched the Goodwill Package on its site this morning. The process to receive the package is simple -- enter your VIN on VW's diesel-specific site, provide contact information and your vehicle's current mileage, and the package will be mailed to your house. To activate it, the car's registered owner must visit a dealership and provide proof of ownership.
The package contains three different benefits. First, the owner will receive a $500 (£331, AU$709) Visa prepaid card that can be used wherever Visa debit cards are accepted. He or she will also receive a $500 dealership card that can be used at any participating dealership for service or, barring that, some sweet automaker-branded merchandise. The final benefit is three free years of 24-hour roadside assistance for the diesel vehicle in question. The two gift cards expire one year after the owner signs up to receive them.
As with every good bit of corporate benevolence, there is plenty of fine print attached. For example, you must have purchased or leased one of the affected four-cylinder diesel models before today, you must not attempt to claim the benefits for a corporate car and you cannot be receiving these benefits for a car you recently sold. This offer is only good for 2.0-liter, four-cylinder diesel models -- six-cylinder diesels are not eligible to receive the Goodwill Package.
Thankfully, signing up for the program does not limit your right to sue, nor will it force owners to go through arbitration or bypass the courts in any other way, a VW spokeswoman told the BBC.
Owners with any questions can head to Volkswagen's diesel information site, where the automaker has compiled a very thorough frequently asked-questions page.