By on November 5, 2015

Beetle TDI

Update: Added background.

Volkswagen of America, in a bid to regain the trust of current diesel owners, will announce a prepaid card campaign on November 9, TTAC has learned.

The program, detailed to dealers Thursday in preparation of its public announcement, is aimed at current owners of affected TDI models regardless of whether they bought their car new or used.

Two prepaid cards will be offered to those TDI owners. The first one will be for $500 and has no restrictions on where it can be used. The second, which may be valued between $500 and $750, will be limited to use at Volkswagen dealerships.

According to our tipster, owners of affected models will need to visit their local Volkswagen dealership with proof of vehicle ownership to activate the prepaid cards.

Owners can find out if they qualify for the “TDI Goodwill Program” by going to and doing a VIN lookup on or after November 9. If they qualify, owners will then be asked to register to receive updates regarding future developments on their diesel vehicles.

The program is expected to apply only to four-cylinder diesels for now, though it could be expanded to 3-liter V-6 diesels later.

Representatives for Volkswagen of America could not be reached for comment.

The additional cash could be a plus for those looking to stay with the brand but get away from their diesel cars. Volkswagen announced October 31 that they would subsidize dealers to take in TDI vehicles on trade at pre-crisis valuations, on top of a $2,000 TDI owner loyalty discount announced October 2.

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34 Comments on “EXCLUSIVE: Volkswagen To Announce “TDI Goodwill Program” Next Week...”

  • avatar

    That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. A gift card? Action is required, not wasting cash! Who the hell runs this VW gig? Complete and utter idiots?

    • 0 avatar
      johnny ro

      Managing the public face towards owners is a dire necessity. You are not the average public face owner viewer. I do not mean that unkindly.

    • 0 avatar


      “Two prepaid cards will be offered to those TDI owners. The first one will be for $500 and has no restrictions on where it can be used. The second, which may be valued between $500 and $750, will be limited to use at Volkswagen dealerships….
      owners of affected models will need to visit their local Volkswagen dealership with proof of vehicle ownership to activate the prepaid cards.”

      What’s the point of the gift cards if you Have to visit a dealership to activate it? Then you’re told that a portion of the gift card can ONLY be used at a VW dealership?

      That’s just adding insult to injury!

      Why not just give TDI owners a check to deposit into their bank account for $500?
      Why not just literally give “free” services to TDI owners instead of a gift card?

      At least it’s “free” money though most TDI owners would probably prefer a check for the entire amount!

      • 0 avatar

        I don’t understand why they don’t send checks like Ford sent me for the C-max mileage scandal. If I were a VW TDI owner, I would prefer that over what they are offering now.

      • 0 avatar

        The article states customers will be given two gift cards. One for the customer to use anywhere the card is accepted, and a second card only to be used at the dealer. The second card can be used to purchase parts and service at the dealership.

    • 0 avatar

      What are you talking about? I think it is great VW is doing that. Shows they care about their customers

    • 0 avatar

      I assume that this is partly an attempt to placate their dealer body, who no doubt is screaming at VWofA with white hot rage.

      That said, speaking as a TDI owner: the gift card scheme is preposterously stupid. My wife bought a 2012 JSW with the TDI engine, her first new car. She is FURIOUS at Volkswagen. The $2,000 owner loyalty discount they offered last month? Only made her angrier.

      Any attempt to attach strings to the goodwill gesture will only make VW look worse in the eyes of many, many owners. And gift cards just scream “strings attached”.

    • 0 avatar

      Agreed! Bought a TDI because I believed their advertising and testing results about the quality and performance of the engine. Sold on false pretenses. I now find this car doesn’t even pass inspection. The repair to make it road legal costs 5k+. This car is almost unsellable now. I want a refund based on September 2015 blue book value.

    • 0 avatar

      i think you are underestimating America’s apathy. most TDI owners could really care less, and now they are getting paid to not care. hell, some of the TDI owners here in Central Texas are using this VW scandal thing as a badge of honor.

  • avatar

    Hope my parents can use it against payments on their new Tiguan (they also have a Jetta TDI).

  • avatar

    In US it does not work this way. You cannot pay lawyers with $500 gift card. Compensation for all suffering and lost income is usually in millions of dollars.

  • avatar

    How much Vaseline will $500 buy you?

  • avatar

    So they get great fuel economy, no restrictions have yet been placed on the engine performance, and a gift card? No one lost, well except the funny folks that bought the VW and owned outside of warranty.

    Maybe those people can now fix 1 dead window motor of their choice.

  • avatar

    We’re sorrrry

  • avatar

    Actually, it’s a $500 Goodwill Industries card, and if TDI owners are lucky, someone might have just donated a decently running used car to the thrift store.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    What Volkswagen did was unacceptable. That said, as the owner of a 2015 (and previously, a 2014) TDI, I don’t really feel like I’m out much of anything. There’s been no evidence, especially on the newer EA288 engine that fuel economy or longevity would suffer noticeably. And I don’t plan on selling my car for a long, long time, so resale values don’t really affect me.

    $500 sounds nice.

  • avatar

    I’ll take the gift cards only if there is no release of liability attached to them, otherwise, I’m stickin’ with the class-action.

  • avatar

    I guess if the $2000 loyalty bonus on new cars is real, if you add this $1250 to that you get $3250 toward a new VW, which is pretty reasonable.

    Trading into a dealer is always a bit of a raw deal though, so maybe another 1k ontop of this, maybe boost the loyalty credit to 3k for diesel owners.

  • avatar

    I think the $2000 cash ended, though if they find that their sales don’t match what they were able to pull off last month if it this deal returns.

  • avatar

    That $500 gift card to be used at the dealership won’t cover the costs of the 40K mile service on a DSG equipped diesel VW.

  • avatar

    Volkswagen ended the $2000 bonus on November 2nd. Their website lists a $1500 loyalty discount now. So really, they are not offering any additional money to owners after the gift card.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    I think you could actually get the last new midsize car in America for less than $15,000 if you worked this the right way.

    Base Passat – $2000 – $1250. That would actually hit right under $15k.

    Then again, I did just get a loaded 2008 Passat with the 3.6 for all of $3000 last Wednesday. That was cheaper than a 2007 base Corolla that had more miles and cosmetic issues.

    If you want a cheap VW these days, buy an older one. The media buzz is actually propping up the prices.

  • avatar

    Isn’t this less about recompense for TDI owners dealing with free-falling resale values and more about padding recall compliance rates, especially in non-emissions states? VW positioning w/ the regulator.

    • 0 avatar
      Nick Engineer

      @b-a I thought the same when I first saw this. Could this come with no strings attached? For me this seems like a way to hook all owners in non-emissions states into a software fix, or to make them sign waivers for future litigation. We will find out soon enough.

      I have not worked out how exactly VW will be able to recall all vehicles in non-emission states. If the EPA can force those state DMVs to require proof of a fix before tag renewal, that will be easy. If they cannot, the EPA will require VW to find a way to compel those cars back into a dealership for whatever the fix. I cannot imagine this being more messy for VW. The EPA (who I am almost certain will not allow any of these TDIs to slide by without a fix) will want to wash its hands off this problem and push it squarely on VW’s lap.

      I haven’t been part of a class action lately, but in my experience, they usually take a long long time, and in the end you may get tossed a packet of peanuts. The only reason to go that route would be to inflict damage on VW, not to rely on any serious compensation. In the end you may end up with less than the cash offered here, but with a bigger cost for VW, and a lot more money to the lawyers.

  • avatar

    Oh good. Cash. Let me take it to the nearest BMW dealer to spend.

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