If you keep up with the news, you're well aware of the recent fuel emissions scandal in which a German car manufacturer was accused of, and admitted to, cheating U.S. fuel emissions testing. The company produced diesel cars that, through illegal software, could detect the moment they were being subjected to government emissions testing and switch into a safe mode that produced test results far superior than those which the vehicles were actually capable of. While the situation is still under investigation, here are answers to some of your important questions.
Why Haven't You Gotten Your Goodwill Package?
As the first step in regaining their customers' trust, the major car manufacturer has agreed to provide owners of affected vehicles with a goodwill package. The package consists of one $500 prepaid credit card to be used anywhere major credit cards are accepted, one $500 gift card that can be redeemed at any car dealership that sells vehicles produced by the suspect vehicle manufacturer, and 3 years of roadside assistance, free of charge.
While all owners of the diesel vehicles affected by the fuel emissions scandal are due to receive a goodwill package, some are wondering why they haven't gotten theirs yet. To answer this question, action is required to claim your package.
To claim yours, jot down your vehicle's VIN number and odometer reading, and then visit the car manufacturer's website, click "check eligibility", and enter the information in. You'll be prompted to enter your contact information, but once you do that, your package should show up in the mail soon after. It should be noted that accepting this goodwill package does not prohibit you from seeking legal action against the car manufacturer in the future.
Do You Have To Have Your Vehicle Remedied?
As of right now, no. The problems with these vehicles do not pose any immediate safety risks on the road, so you can continue to drive your car as is until further notice. With dangerous levels of fuel emissions that are 40 times greater than the allowable levels, though, you can expect a mandatory recall in the near future. You'll be notified by mail as soon as the car manufacturer decides what repairs are necessary to bring your vehicle up to U.S. fuel emissions standards, and the manufacturer plans to cover the cost of those repairs. In fact, the vehicle maker has already set aside $7.3 billion in anticipation of the recalls.
How Will Your Car Be Affected After Repair?
Why did the vehicle manufacturer cheat emissions testing? Because it allowed them to introduce to the U.S. market vehicles that boasted plenty of power in addition to great fuel mileage. Unfortunately, this great fuel mileage and power come at the cost of increased emissions and once your vehicle is altered to come into compliance with U.S. code, it will no longer have the same amount of power or fuel efficiency. Furthermore, because your car isn't as powerful or fuel efficient as it was when you purchased it, you can expect to take a hit when it comes time to resell your car.
Will You Be Compensated For The Increased Fuel Consumption And Decreased Power?
While the car manufacturer has no immediate plans to buy back vehicles from affected car owners or to compensate them for the added cost of fuel they'll spend on in the future, you may already be on the path to regaining your losses. A class action lawsuit has already been enacted against the vehicle manufacturer who cheated emissions testing. You don't have to do anything to become part of this lawsuit except have your vehicle repaired once a recall is issued.
By having your vehicle repaired, you fall into a "class" that sustained financial loss as a result of the car manufacturer's actions. Since you are part of this class, you are automatically bound to the verdict of the case and entitled to a portion of any funds won in the case.
If you own a car affected by the German car maker's fuel emissions software cheat and you're wondering what to do about it, you aren't alone. Go ahead and sign up to receive your goodwill package, and watch for an official recall from the vehicle maker. Once the recall is issued, have your car repaired by a reputable auto repair service like Euroclassics Limited and wait for the results of the pending class action lawsuit.