December 8, 2015 — Volkswagen of America has offered $1,000 to owners of 500,000 cars sold between 2009-2015 with illegal software designed to cheat on emissions tests.
The “fine print” of the agreement includes an arbitration clause, which some lawyers cautioned could be stretched to include the emissions litigation, according to Forbes.
However, VW called the offer a “goodwill package” and told the Los Angeles Times the arbitration clause is part of the bank terms for the gift card — it isn’t intended to preclude litigation over the emissions software.
Michael Horn, CEO of Volkswagen of America, told Bloomberg Business:
“We are working tirelessly to develop an approved remedy for affected vehicle. In the meantime, we are providing this goodwill package as a first step towards regaining our customers’ trust.”
Customers can verify eligibility by visiting www.vwdieselinfo.com and registering. The package will be mailed within four weeks and customers can pick up payment cards at a dealership.
Lawyers say VW diesels were marketed as “environmentally friendly” and priced $1,000 to $7,000 more expensive than similar gas models. Now, the average price of a used VW diesel has dropped nearly $2,100 (16.1%) since September, according to price data from Kelley Blue Book.