VW will not offer compensation packages to European owners affected by diesel scandal

There are an estimated 8.5 million cars affected.

No gift cards for you! That is the message Volkswagen is sending to European owners of their cars that have been implicated in the massive emissions test cheating scandal.

To compensate owners of Volkswagens that have been programmed to artificially "pass" emissions testing — some 482,000 2.0-liter diesels and another 75,000 3.0-liter V6es that the company initially denied had the software — North American Volkswagen owners were offered $1000 in gift cards. Half of that amount could be spent anywhere, but the other half was limited to Volkswagen dealers, which upset many repcipients.

In Europe, however, VW will only "ensure that owners of cars are inconvenienced as little as possible when their vehicles are recalled for fixes to make them compliant with type approval regulations," Automotive News reports. The article goes on to state:

VW says U.S. customers with rigged cars deserve compensation because they bought a vehicle specifically advertised as a "clean diesel." In the U.S., customers were investing in a niche technology compared with Europe where more than half of new cars sold are diesels, the company argues.

U.S. customers also pay more to run a diesel car because the diesel fuel costs more than gasoline whereas European buyers receive tax benefits and, in some countries, pay less for diesel fuel than for gasoline.

VW believes that European customers will be less inconvenienced by the scandal because plans for an EU-wide recall of the affected cars will soon be finalized.

There is perhaps also the issue that while cars affected in the US total under 600,000, there are an estimated 8.5 million affected cars on the road in Europe. The recall, which will be one of the largest in European history, will apply to VW, Audi, Skoda, Seat and VW commercial vehicles.

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