CARS.COM — Volkswagen announced today that it is extending to the Touareg SUV its $1,000 goodwill offer for owners of diesel vehicles involved in its emissions scandal. This reportedly will add tens of thousands more eligible owners to the nearly half-million already covered.
Related: VW Diesel Crisis: Timeline of Events
Volkswagen of America President and CEO Michael Horn made the announcement during a press conference at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The goodwill offer, initially made in November 2015, comes in the form of a $500 Visa prepaid card and a $500 dealership credit that can be spent on service, products or the owner's next vehicle purchase. The offer now will include model-year 2009-16 Touareg SUVs as eligible for the payments.
Previously the offer extended only to owners of model-year 2009-15 2.0-liter diesel four-cylinder VW or Audi vehicles, including the 2009-15 Jetta TDI and Jetta SportWagen TDI, 2012-15 Beetle TDI and Passat TDI, 2010-15 Golf TDI and the Golf SportWagen TDI, and 2010-13 and 2015 Audi A3 TDI. Eligible Touaregs are powered by a 3.0-liter V-6 diesel engine.
"So we want to make this right in the American way," Horn said. "And we will continue everything in our power to make it right and to regain your trust, and specifically of the American public."
To activate the benefits, owners need to register their cars online and visit a dealership once the package arrives in the mail. The automaker assured owners that accepting the package does not preclude future compensation or vehicle repairs.
Horn told the audience in Detroit that 265,000 TDI owners already have signed up for the offer and 135,000 of those have been compensated. The diesel crisis came to light in September with the revelation that VW had used a "defeat device" to evade emissions testing in its diesel vehicles. The German automaker subsequently ordered dealers to stop selling new 2015 diesel 2.0-liter four-cylinder models and certain affected certified pre-owned models, amid an EPA investigation of software placed in the cars allegedly to evade emissions tests.