Volkswagen is reportedly preparing to hand out a little cash to diesel car drivers, in an effort to buy some good will and put the scandal over its faked emissions tests behind it.
The website The Truth About Cars said diesel owners would get a cash card worth $500, and another $500 to $750 to spend at a Volkswagen dealer.
Volkswagen would not confirm the report but did say it would make an announcement on Monday, The New York Times reported:
“The company faces lawsuits from owners seeking compensation for the decreased resale value of the roughly 500,000 Volkswagen and Audi vehicles that were equipped with illegal software. It was not clear whether owners would have to give up any rights to sue if they accepted the cash.”
In addition, current owners of Volkswagen vehicles have been offered cash incentives to buy or lease new cars.
Volkswagen has been mired in controversy since acknowledging that software sold in Golf, Jetta, Beetle and Passat models had been programmed to cheat on emissions tests. The company has denied claims by U.S. regulators that some larger diesel vehicles also had software that was not allowed.
Last week, Volkswagen acknowledged that some “emissions inconsistencies” had been found in 800,000 cars. The findings were disclosed during an internal investigation.
The German newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported that several engineers at Volkswagen had confessed to altering carbon dioxide emissions data. The newspaper said that, starting in 2013 and continuing through last spring, the engineers manipulated tire pressure to make them use less fuel.
They did this because they were afraid they couldn’t achieve emissions goals set by former chief executive Martin Winterkorn, who had ordered a 30 percent reduction of carbon dioxide by 2015, the newspaper said.
The activity was reported by a whistle-blower who is still at the company, according to the newspaper.