Following the revelations surrounding the Volkswagen emissions scandal, the German automaker has announced it will be offering $1,000 gift cards to owners of diesel cars that contained software used to cheat on emissions tests. Half of the $1,000 gift card has to be spent at a Volkswagen dealership. Volkswagen will also offer 24-hour roadside assistance to affected cars for three years.
Volkswagen has admitted that the following TDI models of its car contained the illegal software:
- Jetta TDI, 2009-2015
- Jetta Sportwagen TDI, 2009-2014
- Golf TDI, 2009-2015
- Golf Sportwagen TDI, 2015
- Audi A3 TDI, 2009-2015
- Beetle TDI, 2009-2015
- Beetle Convertible TDI, 2009-2015
- Passat TDI, 2012-2015
If you own one of these models, learning that you can get a thousand dollars from Volkswagen likely comes as good news. However, if you have gotten this offer, you may be wary about how this affects your chances for a future lawsuit. Or you might just be unwilling to financially support a Volkswagen dealership after you’ve been duped by their parent company.
Legal experts are split on what this could mean if you file a lawsuit against Volkswagen. According to spokespersons from Volkswagen, the gift cards come with “no strings attached,” and you do not have to agree to anything legally binding.
However, it is possible that this could affect your future payout in a class-action settlement: a judge may decide that Volkswagen has already compensated you for $1,000 worth of damages, and might reduce your payout by that amount. But with so many lawsuits in their early stages, it’s difficult to say for certain what judges may end up ruling.
So What Do You Do?
If you’re unsure about whether to redeem your Volkswagen gift cards and want to get a better idea of the possible legal ramifications, you should speak to one of our product liability lawyers by scheduling a free legal consultation at Long & Long. Our experience with automobile and product liability cases in Mobile means that you are in good hands. Call us at (251) 432-2277.