In a stunning scandal that continues to evolve, Volkswagen has admitted that 11 million of its diesel engine vehicles worldwide were fitted with software to illegally pass air pollution tests. Almost 500,000 vehicles in the United States had this software installed and will need to be recalled. The software recognizes emission evaluations and turns on an emission control system during the testing. However, the system is turned off during normal driving by consumers and results in 40 times the allowed amount of smog-producing nitrogen oxide to be spewed into the air.
Since the cheating scandal broke, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has begun an investigation of a second emission-control software program in some Volkswagen vehicles and more six-cylinder diesel vehicles that were not originally disclosed that could be involved in the scandal. In addition, Volkswagen withdrew its application for EPA certification of its 2016 diesel engines. Volkswagen is working on a fix to the emission problem, but it is unclear what the solution will be—especially for older vehicle models.
What You Need to Know About the $1,000 Gift Card and Voucher Program
Many Volkswagen and Audi models from 2009-2016 are included in the scandal and recall. Affected models include:
- 2010-2015 Audi A3
- 2014-2016 Audi A6 Quattro
- 2014-2016 Audi A8/A8L
- 2014-2016 Audi Q5
- 2013-2015 Audi Q7
- 2014-2016 Porsche Cayenne
- 2012-2015 Volkswagen Beetle and Beetle Convertible
- 2010-2015 Volkswagen Golf and 2015 Golf SportWagen
- 2009-2015 Volkswagen Jetta and Jetta SportWagen
- 2012-2015 Volkswagen Passat
- 2013-2016 Volkswagen Touareg
Other vehicles could be added to the recall list in the future. In a “goodwill” gesture, Volkswagen is offering a gift card and voucher program to owners of affected vehicles in the United States. Important details to know about this offer include:
- Consumers will receive a $500 Visa gift card and a $500 voucher to be used at a Volkswagen dealership.
- Consumers will not be required to sign anything giving up their right to sue Volkswagen or to force them into arbitration to take advantage of these programs.
- The offer includes free roadside assistance for three years.
- Volkswagen is also offering $2,000 to consumers to trade in their vehicle for a new one.
Owners of affected vehicles should contact their Volkswagen dealer to take advantage of this offer and to remain updated on when their vehicles will be recalled and repaired.
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