UPDATE 1-GM SUV compensation program will cost about $100 mln - source

Fri May 20, 2016 2:08pm EDT
 
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(New throughout, adds details, Canadian program)

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON May 20 (Reuters) - General Motors Co said on Friday it will give debit cards or extended warranties to 146,000 North American owners of new sport utility vehicles to compensate them because the automaker overstated the vehicles' fuel efficiency.

The program covers about 135,000 U.S. owners and 11,000 in Canada, GM said.

GM said most of the debit cards would be worth $450 to $900 for U.S. owners of 2016 SUVs and $1,000-$1,300 Cdn for Canadian owners. The maximum any owner would get is $1,500.

The largest U.S. automaker said the program would not have a material impact on financial results. A source not authorized to discuss the issue told Reuters the program would cost GM around $100 million.

On Wednesday, Reuters and others reported GM was planning the program after the mileage error forced it to temporarily halt sales of about 60,000 new 2016 U.S. SUVs. GM resumed sales once the correct fuel labels arrived at dealerships.

"We want all of our customers to have a great ownership experience, so we designed this reimbursement program to provide full and fair compensation in a simple, flexible and timely manner," GM spokesman Jim Cain said Friday.

GM this week blamed the 1-2 mile-per-gallon overstatement on improper calculations that did not include data from tests on new emissions-related hardware in the 2016 Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave SUVs.   Continued...