Recently, Volkswagen Chief Executive Matthias Mueller was caught in a major lie: an estimated 11 million VW vehicles were recalled due to a revelation from the company that the emissions tests of those 11 million cars were false.Their actual emissions were 10-60 times greater than was reported. This falsification of reports is an obvious crime and one that is affecting many people in the U.S. and around the world, as well as the environment. People purchased VW cars under the pretense that they were carbon efficient, when in reality the cars often were more destructive to the environment than the average F-150 truck.
Many Roosevelt families own Volkswagen vehicles, including mine, which is what makes this story personal to me. My family tries to be environmentally conscious, so when we chose to replace our 2000 Saturn Vue, a VW Jetta seemed the obvious choice. The reviews were fantastic, it had excellent MPG ratings, and emissions tests reflected that it was even more environmentally friendly than a Toyota Prius. Now, we are stuck with an environmentally destructive car and a Mt. Rainier-sized pile of Seattleite-environmentalist guilt. So, we have to trade in our VW and pick a more efficient car. Easy, right?
Wrong. Dealerships don’t want to buy back cars with the stain of emissions testing fraud on them. For my family, this is inconvenient and expensive, but we are very privileged. For many families, it’s a severe economic hardship to take this much of a loss trying to trade in their car. VW is responsible for these families in the lies they told to sell their cars. It’s time for them to shoulder that burden and buy back their cars from people at a reasonable price. It’s basic decency as well as the only appropriate response to such a massive deception and resulting consequences.
Featured Photo: The VW logo. Many members of the Roosevelt community drive Volkswagen vehicles. Photo by Ryan Henrie