Here in the Motor City we're no strangers to automotive news, let alone a scandal. And any driver will attest to the importance of transparency when it comes to the technology related to safety and emissions in a vehicle he or she relies on daily. Maybe it takes the extreme to force change.
When the news that Volkswagon, the nation's largest automaker, built some of its diesel cars with the ability to cheat emissions tests - a move that has led to CEO Martin Winterkorn's decision to step down - it was met with concern, yes, but perhaps less shock than it might've been years ago. Car shoppers are staying away, according to the Today Show on NBC. No surprise.
For me personally, the brand lost its glimmer 15 years ago. A shiny silver 2000 Volkswagon Jetta was the first car I ever purchased new, on my own. My family had owned Volkswagons and Hondas for years - a coup if you know where I live. Still, I knew they were a good bet. I wanted a safe car that fit my style and I was prepared to pay a little more for one I could drive and keep for many years to come.
Though I had tons of Fahrergnugen for the brand at the time, and loved the look, feel and drivability of it, the Jetta constantly required attention. I owned it for less than 7 years and spent much of that time addressing O2 sensor replacements, checking on leaks and eventually dealing with major problems. Repair bills ranged from the hundreds to the thousands multiple times per year for a vehicle I serviced regularly and cared for carefully.
It broke my heart and my trust in the brand. I've since learned I wasn't the only one who struggled with this particular car model and year. I'd love to see the company revamp its reputation and tighten its standards. If it takes something so drastic to do so, perhaps we'll see a stronger, more competitive Volkswagon come through this.
What do you think? How do you see this impacting the industry overall?