By on November 9, 2015


Update: Information about retracted article below with links to published documents.

On Sunday, Volkswagen of America launched signups for its “2.0L TDI Customer Goodwill Package”, which is fully expected to provide prepaid debit cards to owners of the 500,000 affected diesel vehicles that pollute up to 40 times the amount allowed by law.

However, if you are one of those TDI owners, it might be best to wait a day or two before signing up as Volkswagen has not yet published the terms of accepting the goodwill package.

Links on the website that should redirect you to terms of the goodwill package were dead as of Sunday afternoon. The “Goodwill Package FAQ’s” page was unavailable, along with other links that should detail Program Rules, Program Overview and Cardholder Agreements.

The Program Overview and Cardholder Agreements have since been published.

While it would be too early to speculate on specifics, agreeing to the goodwill program could possibly result in owners waiving certain rights in the future.

More as it develops.

TTAC ran a piece about the Card Agreement early Monday morning that included an arbitration clause. That clause is limited to use of the prepaid card, which is standard practice for those types of cards. Because of this, the article has been retracted.

When we have more information on the program itself, we will post it, but not before double-checking it all first.

Sorry for any confusion this may have caused.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

23 Comments on “UPDATE: Don’t Signup for Volkswagen’s “2.0L TDI Customer Goodwill Package” Just Yet...”

  • avatar

    You can’t waive rights unless you do so knowingly ; i.e. the agreement says what you are waiving. That said I’d DEFINITELY read the fine print here.

    • 0 avatar

      There are check boxes that state you have agreed to certain terms. Unfortunately, those terms aren’t available as the links are dead. Volkswagen could argue that you still agreed to them. You clicked the box.

      • 0 avatar

        Accepting anything in the way of compensation would likely exempt you from the almost certain class action lawsuit to come. I wouldn’t take it.

        I would add this: What they’ve done is sleazy. What they do next – Well, why not more sleazy? I’m sure their lawyers are very proud of themselves for thinking this up.

        • 0 avatar

          About 10 days ago, the NY Times on Sunday published a front page article about the prevalence of binding arbitration in virtually every agreement you enter into online. Here’s a link.

      • 0 avatar

        It is doubtful that US law would consider that a contractual acceptance had occurred absent evidence that you were made aware of the conditions of the offer.

        Anything not revealed to you in advance of an acceptance would not be able to be incorporated into the agreement. Of course, they might decide not to send you the card unless and until you read a new, better worded version of the terms and conditions.

        But if you agree to be bound by the terms of the agreement, and there are no other terms then they can’t bind you to them. However, I would expect that they will put whatever “weasel words” that would let them off the hook in the materials you would have to execute before the card would be active and payable to you, so I wouldn’t get my hopes up too much, now that they have decided that the original terms and conditions aren’t stringent enough, or lack the necessary legal force.

        They may have rushed something out, but rest assured, the lawyers were right behind. That is probably the very reason the terms were pulled back, temporarily I am almost certain.

  • avatar

    Yes, as a 2.0 TDi owner (nice car, BTW) and an attorney, I too shall await the full agreement. If VW thinks they can buy me for 1k, (of which $500 will be paid to a dealer at warranty rates-they will be just THRILLED) then they are clearly afraid. My guess is a mandatory arbitration agreement in there somewhere, which would kill the class action. Am I obligated for the bye bye HP reflash ? Can I take the $500 to Malone Tuning and get this re-flashed ?

    I’ve received three class action solicitations in the mail from law firms so far.

    What are my potential damages ?

    I’m not in a hurry, but if they can even shave off 20% with OMG free money, the program is a success for them. As for me, I will wait.

    If you want me to sign off, I’ll accept a 250k bumper to bumper warranty….otherwise, I’ll wait for the class action guys to figure out the damages.

    • 0 avatar

      I wouldn’t settle for anything less than a 100% buy back for all costs incurred in purchasing the car. The chances that theses vehicles might eventually be declared unfit for registration renewal is very high.

      They do not even come close to meeting the standards under which they were certified. Put another way, without the defeat device they never would have been allowed to be sold in the first place. The reasonable thing to do is to bust the fraudulent sales and make the defrauded parties whole.

      VW perpetrated an outright fraud on their customers and the various governments which certified the vehicles as fit for sale. As such, they should not be allowed to keep any of the revenues which resulted from the fraud.

      100% buybacks are the minimum just recompense. Then again, are these the sort of thing which trigger treble damages?

      VW may yet go down in flames over this. Check with the former employees of Enron, Arthur Anderson and other corporate fraudsters who eventually got caught.

      • 0 avatar

        I got ridiculed for suggesting this on day one. VW would have been smart to immediately buy them all back at full sticker plus taxes and registration fees. And offer a replacement at a reduced price. It would have been cheaper than what the lawyers and regulators have in store for them.

        • 0 avatar

          If VW were smart, they wouldn’t have been in this situation in the first place.

          Interesting side note, not everyone agrees with Lutz’ assessment that Piech’s management style is to blame. More recent TTAC articles point the finger at Winterkorn.

          • 0 avatar

            I agree, the blind rage behind Peich was a very misguided missile. I wonder what they will do to cars “near end of design life” and not worth fixing? Being VAG cars, that would be a lot of them….

        • 0 avatar

          You really think that is fair? Ione I hope you paid full sticker, so you get to drive your car for a number of years ( not sure if you have one and if so what year) for nothing???? Yes that makes sense. hey I also want VW to pay for the fuel I used because why not? Oh and VW I was gonna buy a telsa but choose your car instead so how about you throw in a Telsa in the deal. What VW did was wrong no doubt but you drive a car that gets better mileage than it states on the window and may pollute less than the car the it replaced, ( no idea if that is true or not but may be the case)

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        “I wouldn’t settle for anything less than a 100% buy back for all costs incurred in purchasing the car.”

        That won’t happen. Nobody is buying your 7-year-old TDI back at original retail. If that’s the only offer you will accept, then you will get absolutely nothing, after years of wasted effort.

        Sorry to inject a dose of reality, but someone has to do it.

        • 0 avatar

          That condition is as out of touch with reality as the guy who wrote a big whine about Teslas, including that they only have two cup holders, and that his 2012 can receive software updates, but that it lacks the hardware to implement them.

          Just about everyone who commented pointed out that it was like buying a car three or four years ago and then expecting the manufacturer to give you every upgrade it made for free.

          And I can’t believe that there are any of the B&B (including some of the dimmer/dumber ones) who couldn’t foresee that there would be a binding arbitration clause attached to the card giveaways. Why else would VW give them out, if they didn’t expect to get something in return, and what is more valuable and more easy to write up than “binding arbitration”. And I will bet that VW gets to name the arbitrator as well, if you bother to read the fine print.

        • 0 avatar

          Exactly. No one will pay you full retail just because you refuse to accept anything less.

          What most likely will happen, is they will come up with a high offer for the Excellent condition used price + tax title license for those vehicles before the news blew up, and offer to buy these vehicles back at this price, and VW pays for all the penalties to the environment (emission, fuel economy violation, etc) for the miles driven on the vehicles bought back (which is between the gov and VAG).

          Then the owners could buy anything else they like, new or used, with the cash.

          Just like an insurance total, the leg work of figuring out the value is already there by the insurance companies.

    • 0 avatar

      Same here, I own a 2012 Jetta TDI and will not be accepting anything from VW until the US Government weighs in on what they want VW to do.

  • avatar

    Just like they do on “Judge Judy”. What are your actual damages? Do we deduct a smugness penalty for all the owners who told their friends “all about” their smart uber-car purchase back when? Do we deduct because you drove around with the window sticker for a month or two with the MPG circled?

    • 0 avatar

      The value of my car went from around 15-16k to basically un-sellable in a day. One of the reasons I bought my 2012 (and earlier 2005 TDI) is the strong resale value, that is now gone. That is an actual damage as a direct result of VW cheating.

  • avatar

    Yeah, full 100% buyback isn’t going to happen. Best they would do (in a fantasy dream world) would be to offer buy back at something like KBB retail, which is of course, subject to some degree of speculation on just how accurate the value is. But VW isn’t going to buy back all of these cars for what they were sold for. That said, $1000 in two pre-paid cards is laughable, given the potential loss of value these owners will face. Up the ante. Make it worthwhile. Heck, I don’t own a VW, but I still take second glances at the Sportwagen and enough incentive on the hood *might* get me into the door at my local dealer…

    • 0 avatar

      If the vehicles can’t be repaired to be fit for purpose and registered in the owner’s state, buyback at full KBB value in August 2015 is the minimum liability VW will have, not the maximum.

  • avatar

    I have owned 3 TDis since 2010; the latest a 2015 Golf Sportwagen TDi, so I have been lied to ever since. I will not accept a pay-off with Credit Cards. I want a full buyback at full retail price plus damages. I will not complete any recall until the lawsuits are settled.

    I will not join a class-action as the participants never get their fair share. I will file my own federal lawsuit and join the Multi-District Litigation panel and let the paid gunslingers do the dirty work until VW is ready to settle.

    VW is digging their own grave, just keep digging…

  • avatar

    Buyback plus damages? You clearly have zero understanding of US law. Best case scenario: you might be compensated for the loss of value and possibly for loss of performance (mileage) although you are likely getting better than advertised performance now so when they “fix” the car and it gets 1-2mpg worse than the window sticker, you will be left with a $50 gas card.

    The idea that you are somehow entitled to full purchase price of the vehicle PLUS damages is preposterous. Had you attempted to drive the car off the lot and it didn’t function, you might be lucky enough to get your money back. But you have been enjoying the vehicle for how many miles? And you have been injured in what way? The idea that you are owed something in this scenario is what is wrong with this country… You dont get to have something for free just because you “feel” like you were wronged…

  • avatar

    I am no lawyer, but I know there is no way that VW is going to issue a buyback of our cars (2013 Passat TDI here BTW) at KBB value, much less 100%. Their lawyers and accountants are working on it overtime to determine the absolute cheapest solution for THEM. That will not be buying back anything. Its sad because I love my car and would have been a customer for life but now they can kiss it goodbye.

    I don’t mind the EPA rule breaking because the EPA restrictions are flawed from the beginning but I detest the fact VW put its customers in this compromised position by deliberately breaking the law. Did they really think nobody would ever discover this?

    The ethical thing for VW to do is a buyback but ethics and law and profit seldom go together. Its a shame really for a business like VW to lose such loyal customers

Read all comments

Recent Comments

  • 05lgt: There aren’t nearly 81 million billionaires, you don’t follow the senate, can’t parse the...
  • dal20402: Texas’s system amounts to the upper middle class subsidizing both the poor and the rich....
  • 05lgt: If it doesn’t get way too many vents, flaps, diffusers and winglets it could be my next car.
  • eng_alvarado90: Agreed, they even sell a Ram 1000 in South America based on the Fiat Toro. It’s got some...
  • C5 is Alive: Well, it would solve world hunger… I’m reminded of an episode of the 1980s...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Jo Borras
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber