Oh, Volkswagen, what are you doing to me? Yes, me. It’s no longer merely global. It’s personal. Because the longer you take to resolve the emissions issue, the more I feel like a jilted lover.
You see, my Golf TDI was my dream car. Fuel-efficient yet fun to drive. Plenty of cargo room yet easy to park. Sporty yet chic. Smooth on the corners, quick off the line. A killer sound system. An intelligently designed dash. A comfy driver’s seat with good lumbar support. Powerful. Reliable. Black.
Lies. Lies. And more lies.
Everything was perfect. It was the best car relationship I’d ever had. Until I found out you were hiding deep, dark secrets. There were lies, deception, cheating. You pretended to be something you weren’t, and now I’m stuck with you.
Oh sure, you’re still with me, but you’ve abandoned me emotionally. You keep saying you’re going to change. You’re going to fix everything. But you don’t. You just keep asking for more time.
Well, enough already! I want answers. I need an explanation. But most of all, I need to know what this means for us long term. As a devoted VW driver who’s put 130,000 miles on her beloved Golf TDI in three years, I may be looking for a new set of wheels soon. So I need to know, will I have to shop around? Do I have to look at a Honda? A Subaru? Or worse, a Toyota? I’ll tell you what, that electric blue Mini Cooper I drove in Georgia is looking more attractive every day. And I hate electric blue.
Maybe I should move to Europe.
I see that Volkswagen AG started recalling the millions of tainted diesels in Europe last Friday. According to the Wall Street Journal, 800,000 owners are about to get their fix. Surely, there’s some lucky girl among them.
I know our European friends waited a long time, too. Apparently, according to WSJ, “fixing the cars has proven more difficult than initially expected. In Europe, where around 8.5 million of the affected vehicles are on the road, Volkswagen must seek approval for its prescribed fix for each model type separately, a tedious and complex process.”
Of course, it’s complex! The best relationships are! I just don’t understand how a brand like VW could let its valued customer relationships languish like this. So what if “the recall was delayed by several months as the KBA motor vehicle authority insisted the fix have no impact on fuel economy”? I get that, but what about the impact on our relationship???
While VW may be patching things up in Europe, they’re still in a heated battle with authorities and lawyers for a U.S. class action suit representing over 600,000 affected domestic diesel owners. In April, VW and U.S. authorities reportedly reached a preliminary agreement to buy back, repair and/or compensate U.S. owners. In May, the federal court judge presiding over the case said VW was “on track to reach a final agreement by a June 21 deadline.”
June, it seems, is shaping up to be a big month for VW. In other news, Volkswagen AG is slated to announce a new strategy in mid-June, according to excerpts of a speech by CEO Matthias Mueller in May.
“We want to lead Volkswagen out of the company’s most difficult situation ever and shape it into a mobility provider,” Mueller said. According to Automotive News, over 250 employees are involved in shaping the plan through 2025. The so-called “Strategy 2025” will focus on “the customer with his wishes and needs,” Mueller went on to say. “In the end, a strategy is only good if it leads to products that excite people and that they want to buy.”
Hmm. So does this mean I have to wait until 2025 to be excited about Volkswagen again? I’m sorry, VW, but I don’t love you that much.
On the other hand, if this new mobility play includes a lifetime supply of back massages, we might have something to talk about.