My first car was a 1959 seasick- green coloured Volkswagon Beetle. I absolutely LOVED that car! My father worked for Volkswagon, Canada close to thirty-five years and so I grew up knowing the insides out of every VW that was made from the 1950’s on. When I started university, Dad surprised me with a little red Kharmann Ghia and it was my pride and joy until my brother wrote it off on the slippery, slidey, wintery streets of Calgary. If I were honest, I was probably more choked up about my car’s demise than the cuts and bruises my brother sustained in the accident. Sorry, Jack!
When my husband was looking for a second car so I could drive to university in Calgary, he bowed to my pressure and bought a used 1976 VW Rabbit. On the way home, my husband discovered that “lemon” was too kind a word to describe the car. We drove it only when it would run, which was seldom. “Live and learn,” he said in frustration as he spent hours trying to figure out the ins and outs of German technology and design. We had it a year and that was enough for my husband to declare that he would never own another VW vehicle in his life. My Dad was retired from VW Canada then and held no ill-will towards us because we had lost favour with the brand. He had served the company faithfully for so many years and was proud of the product even though he admitted that our car was one of the few “duds” he had ever come across.
When my Dad was close to retiring, he told me that all VW Beetles were soon to be retired in favour of a new look and because the company could not economically or mechanically bring the original Beetle up to the standard of current environmental standards of emission that was being expected of all vehicles on the road. I was heartbroken to think that the Beetle would no longer be seen on roadways and I just couldn’t get excited about the “new and improved” Beetle. The “punch buggy” I knew and loved was gone only to be replaced by other VW cars with obscure names: Passat, Jetta, Golf, Touareg, and Tiguan. Is it just me or do those names just sound ridiculous?
But the names of the cars are the least of Volkswagon’s worries this week.
Shares of Volkswagen dropped after U.S. authorities accused the automaker of falsifying emissions data. “The company is said to have been caught cheating on American air pollution tests. Volkswagen installed sophisticated software known as “defeat devices” in diesel vehicles issued between 2008 to 2015. This only allowed emissions controls to run full-tilt during official testing, but emitted 10 to 40 times the legal amount while on the road.” http://www.cnbc.com/2015/09/22/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-volkswagen-scandal.html
It is ironic if I believe what my father said about the old Beetle being scrapped because VW could not or would not upgrade their vehicles to meet environmental standards that this may be the same cause of the company’s problems now.
It would seem that Volkswagon’s motivation behind this is not due to lack of skill in modifying the cars to proper emission standards, it is all rooted in deception and greed. When will businesses, companies, CEO’s and individuals understand that their sins WILL be found out?
For years VW has traveled smooth roads but now they are facing bumpy times and yes, there’s a great scripture to illustrate what lies ahead:
“Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be full of gravel.” (ESV Proverbs 20:17)