EXCLUSIVE: Volkswagen To Announce "TDI Goodwill Program" Next Week

Mark Stevenson
by Mark Stevenson

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 www.vwdieselinfo.com 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.

Mark Stevenson
Mark Stevenson

More by Mark Stevenson

Join the conversation
5 of 34 comments
  • Mattbookpro Mattbookpro on Nov 06, 2015

    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.

  • Steven Lang Steven Lang on Nov 06, 2015

    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.

  • B-a B-a on Nov 06, 2015

    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.

    • NickS NickS on Nov 06, 2015

      @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.

  • Jasper2 Jasper2 on Nov 08, 2015

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