The 1, 000-dollar gift offered by Audi is going to convince the owners of diesel-powered cars to respond to recalls when the automaker finds a fix for them, says Scott Keogh, Audi of America President.
In a clumsy attempt to redress its dented brand image caused by the emissions scandal, Volkswagen came up with the idea of sharing “gifts”. The company is giving owners of diesel-powered cars with 2.0-liter engines under investigation by the US Environmental Protection Agency a 500-dollar Visa card and another 500-dollar gift in credits from its dealers. On top of that, VW also offers three years of free roadside assistance. This “bonus package”, supposed to soften the annoyance of owners with cars that emit more nitrogen oxides than the limits allowed by law, is designed to help Volkswagen identify cars with problems before it comes to fixing them, stated Audi of America President Scott Keogh. But what VW really seeks through these gifts is to convince the owners to respond to recalls and bring their cars to dealers. Usually, when a carmaker is announcing a recall, less than half the owners comply.
“This is only an initial step, but clearly an important one,” Keogh said. “Additionally, this goodwill package gives us a chance to locate many of the affected vehicles and their owners. By getting people to raise their hand and engage now, we can be as effective as possible once we have the remedy.” A3 is the only Audi model powered by the four-cylinder diesel engine fitted with the cheating device. The California regulators have given Audi a deadline for finding a solution for the affected cars, and the deadline is closing tomorrow. The automaker will bring a solution to the German authorities on Monday, said a person familiar with the plans.