Last week, Volkswagen announced its "goodwill package," offering affected United States owners of 482,000 faulty diesel cars — as part of its emissions scandal — a $500 Visa debit card, $500 in dealership credit and three free years of roadside assistance.
Still trudging through the worst crisis in its 78-year history, the embattled automaker has posted a full-page ad in nearly 30 prominent U.S. newspapers — including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post — to continue to apologize and, more importantly, attempt to restore its badly-bruised reputation.
The ad, which is gray, without any pictures, opens with the line, "We're working to make things right" in bold print. From there, VW's North American CEO, Michael Horn, writes: "Over the past several weeks, we've apologized to you, our loyal customers, about the 2.0L VW diesel emissions issue. As we work tirelessly to develop a remedy, we ask for your continued patience."
After that, Horn reiterates the company's goodwill package and mentions how affected drivers can retrieve it via VWdieselinfo.com.
"We sincerely hope you see this as a first step toward restoring your invaluable trust," Horn continues.
Well, it's something. Perhaps a bigger display of its commitment toward change will be if VW could actually make good on its vow to begin making 11 million faulty diesel vehicles comply with emissions regulations in January and finish the massive undertaking by late 2016.
That recall alone is projected to cost Volkswagen $6.5 billion, with more damages possible via regulatory fines from countries and individual driver lawsuits. The automaker has already stated that a U.S. driver accepting its "goodwill package," has no bearing on that same driver taking part in a possible class-action lawsuit against the company for its emissions cheating scandal.
How long do you think it will take before Volkswagen is back in good graces with its customers and the general public as a whole?