The true ramifications of Dieselgate have been far reaching and varied for VW, not to mention expensive. But it has also taken a sizable toll on the company’s customer base, one of which is Tyneside taxidriver, John Denholm.
John’s VW Passat broke down days after it had been ‘fixed’ by the automaker, the loss of his car causing him to lose 11 days of work (around £1,300). Initially VW said it would not be reimbursing John for “loss of earnings” but the car maker has subsequently backed down after the Newcastle Chronicle got involved. Volkswagen have now offered John £1,400 as a “gesture of goodwill”, despite insisting the breakdown was purely coincidental and unrelated to the Dieselgate fix.
At first, Volkswagen had refused to offer John any extra compensation, but reduced the cost of his repairs from £3,200 to £750. He was given a courtesy car but was unable to use this as a taxi.
John said: “I received a letter from VW saying there had been a mistake. They said I had not been offered anything under a scheme which would have kept me on the road.
“The payment is welcome but I think someone should have realised I was eligible for help under the pay-and-claim scheme at the time. It would have stopped a lot of stress and worry.”
A Volkswagen spokesman for the company said: “We do not consider the changes Mr Denholm reported are related to the technical measures and as such did not consider it appropriate to reimburse him for any loss of profits.
“That said, and in the knowledge that Volkswagen has no obligation to do so, we discussed Mr Denholm’s case with the retailer who assisted him.
“During this discussion it came to light that a general pay-and-claim scheme which would have allowed him to continue his work as a taxi driver, was available, and was not offered.
“In light of this and following our aims to maintain our high levels of customer satisfaction, we have voluntarily decided to offer Mr Denholm further financial support as a gesture of individual goodwill.
“To be clear, this offer of goodwill is not based on the NOx issue nor the technical measures, neither of which caused the issues Mr Denholm reported, but rather due to an apparent failure to follow the proper process.”