by Kyle K. Mann
Does it get any more cynical than tricking baby boomers into paying to emit illegal amounts of toxic diesel fumes, courtesy of the auto brand that was a symbol of the good vibes of the hippie days?
The thing that I loved, as I drove that ol’ Beetle down the road in the mystic year 1967, was that it was Hitler… Hitler! …that originated the idea of the car, little dreaming that 30 years later freaks like myself, peaceniks who hated everything he stood for, would be the primary adopters of the vehicles he championed.
Somehow it seemed like a magical triumph of Great Karma.
So the revelation that the company who had risen from the ashes and launched a million hippie road trips was gaming pollution regs and making motorists eat toxic exhaust came as a huge blow to those who had coughed up their dough for “clean diesel” vehicles.
Volkswagen played the anti-pollution pitch card, and the rubes marched up and forked over hard-earned cash, only to find out this September 2015 that they were spewing massive amounts of toxic gasses.
What a gas.
In some cases, the various 2009-2015 diesel VeeDub models are gushing up to 30 times or more the maximum amount of toxic emissions allowed. That’s right, not double, not triple, but as much as 30 times. A shocking amount indeed. Numbing!
I have never understood the attraction some people have to diesel. The tech is from two centuries back… And, it stinks. I always could tell that gunk coming out of tailpipes from busses and trucks was nasty. Anyone with a working nose can figure that out.
It’s pure P.T. Barnum, when you mull it over. Clean diesel? Of course it’s evil! Should be banned, people using it jailed. And those promoting it, pushing it, lying about it, making obscene profits off it?
Hard labor for corporate ghouls like Martin Winterkorn, the VW CEO forced to resign in disgrace.
Winterkorn’s windfall golden parachute of tens of millions should instead become a golden shower of abuse, with weekly televised naked public horse whippings, and further punishment so draconian that no CEO in the next generation would dare to try to get away with the outrageous scams and lies VW has been pulling since the last decade.
The VW brand is now a laughingstock. It may recover, but it doesn’t deserve to. I never buy Exxon or BP gas. VW is now in that league.
Remember, this deception is vast. You want conspiracy? These guys planned this pollution “defeat device” in the vehicle software for years, so they could boast of better mileage and performance, yet pass crucial emissions tests
Herr Winterkorn, a CEO notorious for his “hands on” leadership, had to know, along with various sets of underlings. Whose idea was it? How did it get into the planning stages and onto shiny clean showroom floors?
Angry minds want to know.
At the heart of the dilemma for the scheming auto barons was the State of California, which sports the strictest vehicle pollution limits on the ever-warming planet. If CA could be fooled, so could the world. I now have a couple pals in my home state with cartons of eggs on their faces. Poor dudes. It’s hard to keep my un-egged face straight. I mean… Really? “Clean” diesel? Mmmmpfffthh.
I remember back in 2009 buying a copy of “Green Car Report,” excited by the magazine title, only to toss it aside in disgust. Their choice for Green Car of the Year? The VW Diesel Jetta.
I give up on this place California, I really do, and the whole wretched country. I’ll try Costa Rica first, as it’s supposed to be serious about being an Eco-haven. And if they are lying? What’s an old hippie to do? How far do I have to go to get away from this madness?
Tierra del Fuego down in Argentina?
Karma is hard to understand sometimes. I keep getting the horrible feeling that somewhere, monstrous ol’ Adolph is having a good long laugh.