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Volkswagen may give money to owners of emissions-cheating cars

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If you're one of the 11 million owners of a Volkswagen car that's part of the company's huge emissions cheating scandal, you might be getting some compensation for the vehicle's lost value. As reported by ABC News, Volkswagen US CEO Michael Horn (pictured above) testified today in front of a congressional subcommittee and said that the company might pay the owners of affected cars as a way to make up for the fact that resale value for those vehicles (and indeed pretty much any VW out there) is going to drop. However, Horn said that Volkswagen wouldn't be refunding customers money. The company also isn't planning to provide loaner cars for owners, as the affected vehicles are still safe to drive (even though they're releasing up to 40 times more than the EPA's acceptable standard).

That's just one aspect of the lengthy grilling session Horn endured today -- he also claimed that Volkswagen as a company didn't have any knowledge of what was going on, instead saying the "defeat devices" that made its cars pass their emissions tests were put in place by a small number of software engineers that the company has yet to identify. That's a claim that at least one congressman (Chris Collins, R-NY) denied in strong language: "Either your entire organization is incompetent when it comes to trying to come up with intellectual property, and I don't believe that for a second, or they are complicit at the highest levels in a massive cover-up that continues today," Collins said, according to The Washington Post.

It also seems that while the affected cars will be able to meet their original gas milage ratings after Volkswagen's recall and fix, the cars will actually suffer a slight performance decrease. Horn said that at top speed, one to two miles per hour may be missing -- not something that will likely affect most drivers, but still something worth noting. The full effects of Volkswagen's planned recall will likely not be fully revealed for a bit longer, but the company says it'll be kicking that off in 2016. It won't happen overnight: Horn said that the full recall could take at least one to two years to complete, notes The Verge. And that appears to be just for vehicles in the US -- only a relatively small percentage of the total cars affected.

[Image credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]

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