Volkswagen AG has offered $1,000 in gift cards and vouchers to its diesel owners in the U.S. affected by the company’s emissions scandal. The offer, announced Monday, comes the same day that the European Union asked the German automaker to give within 10 days details on the recently revealed “irregularities” linked to the cheating software.
Volkswagen announced that the owners of 482,000 cars in the United States will receive the gift cards as the company’s initiative to rebuild customer trust. The offer also reportedly includes free roadside assistance for the diesel vehicles for three years.
"We are working tirelessly to develop an approved remedy for affected vehicles," Michael Horn, Volkswagen's U.S. CEO, said in a statement, according to the Associated Press. "In the meantime we are providing this goodwill package as a first step towards regaining our customers' trust."
The company also said that its Audi luxury brand would launch the same program on Friday.
On Monday, the EU’s climate and energy commissioner, Miguel Arias Canete, asked Volkswagen to provide “further clarifications” on the emissions scandal, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The letter sent to Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller demanded information on which models and how many newly registered cars were affected by the cheating software.
“I would appreciate if you could send us within 10 days replies to these questions,” the letter reportedly reads.
The Volkswagen scandal came to light in September after scientists at a University of West Virginia laboratory tested several of the company's diesel vehicles and found their carbon emissions were as much as 40 times the legal limit in the U.S. The company was able to cheat on emissions tests by employing a type of software, a so-called defeat device, that indicated the vehicles' emissions as far lower than they actually were.
The software affected at least 11 million Volkswagen diesel vehicles worldwide, including about 500,000 in the U.S. Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) claimed that Volkswagen installed software designed to defeat emissions tests on 2014 to 2016 vehicles with 3.0-liter, six-cylinder diesel engines, which included Audi and Porsche models. The same week, Volkswagen executives also admitted that about 800,000 vehicles, mostly in Europe, consume fuel and emit harmful gases at higher levels than previously known.
Volkswagen shares closed down nearly 2 percent in Frankfurt Monday.