I’ve owned five VWs during my motoring life, including the gas-powered 2003 Passat wagon now in my driveway. I’ve read dozens of articles on how VW cheated, when it cheated and why it cheated. I am disheartened by yet another corporation screwing the public, or in this case specifically, our air and those who thought diesel VWs were something they were not.
I recall the VW salesman who touted the cleaning-burning diesel that met California air emission standards. I believed him because I wanted to believe him. Diesel engines last a long time—they are true work horses. But, fortunately, I bought a Prius and have logged over 75,000 miles at 50 mpg.
In my early days I purchased a VW bug because I couldn’t afford anything else. I made most of the repairs to it myself. In fact, I ended up buying three bugs made in the early 1960s, each featuring see-through floorboards. But they were so cheap—never more than $400. I drove across the country (USA) three times in bugs, breaking down along the way, but never for very long. The highlight was the wintery day when my brakes failed and I stopped at the bottom of the hill by driving into a snow bank. By the time I bought a new VW in 2003, the car line was high on safety and speed with reasonable gas economy and competitive luxury. The repair bills in the last five years have been somewhat stiff, but the car runs well. We don’t drive it as much and its main purpose is to transport three dogs as evidenced by the saliva stains on the side windows. But it is time to consider another vehicle. It won’t be a VW. I have nothing against German-made vehicles—we’ve owned a used Mercedes and a BMW and loved them and would consider one in the future—but VW cheated and lied and it is difficult to erase that “brand” from my mind. At least when I bought those bugs from murky garages along Rte. 22 in NJ.40 years ago, I knew what I was getting.