A leading automotive website says German car maker Volkswagen is preparing to offer cash to American owners of diesel cars that were intentionally programmed to give false data on emission tests.
The blog "The Truth About Cars" said Saturday that VW will announce the move in the coming days as part of its "TDI Goodwill Program." It says the payouts will include $500 with no restrictions, and a second disbursement of $500 to $750 that will be limited to use at VW dealerships.
Volkswagen has not commented publicly on the report.
"TTAC" also said the carmaker will begin making fixes in February to the first of the 482,000 diesel cars sold in the United States with the suspect software on its turbo-diesel engine.
VW is facing lawsuits from irate owners seeking compensation for the decreased resale value of the Volkswagen and Audi vehicles that were equipped with illegal software that underreported emissions.
Analysts say the software recognized when emissions tests were underway, and then activated emissions controls to deceive testing officials. However, investigators say the same cars then emitted up to 40 times the permissible pollutants while on the open road.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also linked some larger VW, Porsche and Audi vehicles produced by the automotive giant to illegal software.
VW officials have since denied that the software in those cars was designed to underreport emissions.