COVID-19

Volkswagen offering payment relief, lease extensions to customers

The financial arm of Volkswagen is reaching out to customers to offer them payment relief.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Jobless rates are soaring due to the COVID-19 outbreak and Volkswagen wants its customers' pocketbooks to feel less of a pinch during this trying time.

Volkswagen of America and Volkswagen Credit will defer payments for up to 90 days for existing VCI customers affected by the economic crisis. Additional payment assistance options for customers in good standing include:

  • Up to 90-day payment deferrals without fees (VCI will not charge any fees but finance charges will still accrue for non-lease accounts)
  • Lease extensions up to six months
  • Waiving past maturity fees in certain circumstances

Volkswagen and VCI are giving qualified new buyers the option of delaying their first payment for up to 180 days combined with zero-percent APR financing for up to 72 months for most new vehicles. The program is set to run through April 30.

"We know this pandemic has caused significant stress and worry across America, and is putting financial strain on millions of households," said Scott Keogh, CEO of Volkswagen of America. "We have a commitment to help our customers, our dealers, our employees and our communities in a time of crisis."

Volkswagen will launch an ad campaign in English and in Spanish to raise awareness of their new Community-Driven Promise campaign.

VW | Community-Driven Promisewww.youtube.com

Volkswagen recently launched its 2020 Atlas Cross Sport and is set to bring its 2021 Atlas to market this summer. This week the company announced the new Basecamp accessory line for the Atlas.

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The IIHS may increase the speeds it uses to test advanced driver aids.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently announced that it is considering changing the speeds it uses to test vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention systems. The agency currently tests the systems at 12 and 25 mph, but says that the speeds don't accurately represent the types of crashes the safety tech is meant to prevent.

Front crash preventionwww.youtube.com

Automatic emergency braking (AEB) is designed to notify of a possible collision and help respond with automatic application of braking. Just like a human using the brake pedal, it can stop the car, but higher speeds make it difficult to stop in time. The new tests would be conducted at 35 to 45 mph, which is the range where a large number of rear-end crashes occur. As Automotive News noted, an IIHS study showed 43 percent of rear-end crashes occur at speeds of 45 mph or less, so it's important to have a test that shows how well the tech performs at those levels.

A whopping 85 percent of 2022 vehicles earned a "Superior" rating in the current testing regime, so the IIHS will remove it from 2023 testing and Top Safety Pick award evaluations. Their view is that, since the majority of vehicles meet the criteria, it's no longer an accurate way of evaluating performance. In its place, the agency introduced a night test for automatic emergency braking systems that will begin next year.

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The new Type R set a Suzuka Circuit lap record.

Honda

The new Honda Civic somehow improves on the formula laid out by its numerous predecessors and does so with style, refinement, and value. The Civic Si built on that foundation with a potent turbocharged engine and solid handling, but Honda's not done with the Civic. The automaker just teased the new Civic Type R, and it set records at Japan's Suzuka Circuit during a recent testing session.

The All-New 2023 Type R Achieves Track Record at Suzukawww.youtube.com

The Type R lapped Suzuka Circuit in 2 minutes, 23.120 seconds, a record-breaking lap for a front-wheel drive car. The video features neat telemetry information on-screen during the lap as well, but the real excitement comes later when full specs are revealed.

Honda's been understandably mum on details on the new Type R's powertrain and performance numbers, but the car is expected to carry the same powertrain with its predecessor. The 300-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine made that car a force to be reckoned with, so the 2023 Civic Type R will likely continue carrying that torch.

Honda Civic Type RHonda will fully reveal the car this summer. Honda

Honda will reveal the car in all its glory this summer. As for pricing, the previous car started around $38,000, so the new model should be around there to start. That, of course, is before dealers mark it up and other lucky buyers snap them up for insane resale on an auction site.

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