Readers Respond to Volkswagen’s Dieselgate


You can’t avoid news of Volkswagen’s diesel scandal, and it seems like everyone has an opinion on it.

A quick recap for those who need it: Volkswagen has been using an illegal software cheat to provide artificial results to the EPA for its TDI diesel equipped vehicles. When the vehicles are not being emissions tested, their tailpipe emissions are 40 times higher than what they’re supposed to be. This means that all 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel vehicles under the Volkswagen Auto Group (that includes VW, Audi, Porsche, Skoda and SEAT) around the world have been polluting far worse than we could have anticipated, and some since 2009.

ALSO SEE: Everything You Need to Know About VW’s Diesel Scandal

The reaction to the news has been intense. There are stop sales, resigned CEOs, lawsuits, revoked awards and records, a potential criminal charge and a recall is on the way.

What Are People Saying?

We posted a poll to see what the general reaction has been, and a number of readers have responded with some valuable input. More than 1,000 responses have been tallied and the results are interesting.

When asked whether the EPA cheating devices will affect whether one would consider buying a VW TDI diesel, 52 percent said they wouldn’t consider a VW TDI and that they don’t trust them any more, while 48 percent said they have faith the company will make things right.

SEE ALSO: Poll: Have Your Say on Volkswagen’s ‘DieselGate’ Disaster

Beyond diesels, it seems like people are pretty even on Volkswagen as a whole. Fifty-one percent of respondents said they think the scandal is isolated to Volkswagens diesels, and would still consider buying a VW vehicle in the future, while 49 percent is worried about the rest of the VW lineup.

Readers seem to have faith in VW recovering from the issue, with 85 percent thinking that the company will bounce back, while just 15 percent believe it’s game over for them. Seventy-four percent of readers also believe that all automakers are cheating the EPA tests somehow, and VW just got caught. Finally, according to our poll, readers aren’t discouraged with future diesel vehicles.

What Owners Are Saying

Volkswagen owners and enthusiasts also left more personal notes.

2015-vw-golf-sportwagen-07-verdict“I’m a bit disappointed because it sounds like the likelihood is that whatever fix they come up with will reduce the fuel economy and performance of the car, which is why I bought the car in the first place,” said Chris Canter, a VW owner from Texas, in an interview. Canter currently owns a 2015 VW Golf SportWagen TDI and used to own a 2010 VW Jetta TDI.

“If the option was available, I wouldn’t get the software fix,” Canter said. “I’m not fazed that it wouldn’t pass emissions testing. I’d rather have the performance. Emissions are just not a big concern to me.” He also believes that VW will offer some kind of compensation for the reduced fuel economy or hurt market value. He thinks VW as a company will recover, but that the scandal will likely hurt diesel sales in general.

Asked if he would buy another Volkswagen in the future, Canter said, “As long as it looks like the problem has been dealt with and the car retuned the performance I want, then, yes, I would buy a Volkswagen again. I’d certainly still consider their products, especially if they met my needs in the future.”

2015-vw-golf-sportwagen-01-review“I’d love a buyback from VW,” said Mark Moore in a comment posted to the our poll. “I mean, this will kill my resale value.” Moore didn’t mention what VW model he drives, but said that he was also concerned that the fix could neuter the vehicle’s power output. Another commenter echoed those thoughts.

“Nothing short of a full purchase price buy-back for affected TDI cars should be accepted,” said commenter Daniel Peter Romanello. “No matter what’s done to fix the problem, we all were sold vehicles under false pretences and shouldn’t be expected to accept a band-aided auto under any circumstances.”

Other responses are in stark contrast to the opinion of these owners.

“If you aren’t cheating, you aren’t trying,” says one commenter. Many believe that the GM ignition switch scandal is far more important. One major concern is how this can be the death of diesel in North America. “This will likely dissuade buyers from diesel,” speculated Canter.

Other Reactions

Diesel-Exhaust“What VW did was flat out wrong,” says Daniel Gray, a writer for AutoBytel and noted alternate fuel journalist. His motto is “burn rubber, not gasoline.” He says the big step now is “how they (VW) fix the problem is the big question.” While VW maintains that its cars are still completely safe and legal to drive, they have also issued that a recall for all 11 million of the affected vehicles is on the way. The company says that is has a “comprehensive” plan to fix the affected cars, but the details of the plan are still unknown.

“Owners will not be satisfied with less performance and lower fuel economy,” said Gray. Many are speculating that the recall will involve such drawbacks, but nothing official has been said yet. According to experts who spoke with Reuters, a software update on the newer diesel models could indeed lead to reduced vehicle performance and fuel economy and increased urea use, meaning the diesel exhaust fluid may need to be replaced every 5,000 miles instead of 10,000.

See Also: Volkswagen Announces Vague First Steps in Diesel Fix

Gray suggests that the biggest issue of this scandal is with fuel. “Second Generation Renewable Diesel produces lower emissions across the board,” he said. “This should be an opportunity for that fact to come to light.” Gray is talking about biodiesel, an alternative to diesel that is renewable, and cleaner burning.

Who Else Is Affected?


As a result of the scandals, other automakers with diesel vehicles are under the magnifying glass. BMW is reiterating that its diesel vehicles are compliant with the emissions standards, despite older studies that have claimed otherwise. General Motor’s new diesel-powered Colorado and Canyon pickup trucks are also being tested thoroughly. The trucks will not be certified for sale until they are tested on road by the EPA to make sure that the new 2.8-liter diesel engine passes emissions tests during normal everyday use.

See Also: Chevy Colorado Diesel Under the EPA’s Microscope

It’s clear that this Volkswagen diesel problem is going to change a lot of things within the industry, be it consumer confidence, diesel acceptance, or even more stringent emissions standards. It will be interesting to see what happens next.

Do you have something to say about the VW news? Tell us in the comments below.

Discuss this story at our Volkswagen Forum


Super Stock Diesel says:

Volkswagen seriously disappointed me doing this… I FINALLY thought that we could make diesel engines incredibly clean and still get great performance, BUT no…… They cheated just to get sales. Diesel has no future in the car market now…. congrats volkswagen

Thomas Gunter says:

My biggest concern would be if I owned a diesel VW would be that the fix didn’t hurt the longevity of the engine . Diesel don’t like to run lean, they like oily fuel to help lube up the top end . Lesson that fuel mix and there goes the reliability of that engine .

kjump14 says:

OMG. What the heck has happened to Americans(I’m one too)?
We’ve deteriorated into a bunch of FAT, SNIVELING WHINERS!
It’s the EXACT same vehicle as it was before.
IF VW ends up needing to make changes that will lessen your mileage and/or power, you WILL HAVE THE OPTION OF THEM BUYING IT BACK.
I’m willing to bet 99.9% of the people who are ‘claiming’ to be all up in arms, don’t even own ANY KIND of diesel.
They just are a bunch of fricken sheep, who do whatever the media tells them to.

Mark Wheeler says:

“f you own a VW diesel, NOTHING HAS CHANGED ON YOUR VEHICLE!” really? How about that you are a VW SUCKER!! They took you for a dam fool hook, line, and sinker! And you blow it off as nothing? Get yourself some self-esteem.

kjump14 says:

Here ya go… The poster-child for the new American whiny bizzzitch.
Something that doesn’t concern you in the SLIGHTEST, yet you pretend to get your panties all bunched up, and pull your skirt up over your head.
Since you’re clearly also a MO-RON, I’ll repeat it.
For VW owners, N-O-T-H-I-N-G has changed with your vehicles.
It STILL gets the stellar mileage(I personally see 60mpg at 80mph) it always did, and STILL has the SAME POWER as well.
Why? Because there’s NOTHING WRONG with these vehicles.
They simply put out more emissions than VW reported to the feds.
I have a vehicle that [AGAIN] AVERAGES 48mpg while driving the thing like it’s a rental. So, VW can take me like ‘a fool, hook, line, and sinker’ all they want. I could care less that it puts out more emissions than it did before. If I DID care, I’d comfort myself with the knowledge that it STILL puts out LESS emissions that compatible gasoline-powered vehicles.
So you can cry and whine to your sandy-vagina’s delight.
I’ll be keeping my TDI AND my 2500HD-which can drop a BIG BLACK CLOUD of smoke so thick, you and your Prius could be all the way on the other side of an intersection, yet you wouldn’t even be able to see your little steering wheel!
Now go run and cry to somebody that actually cares little boy

johnls39 . says:

Inspite of the diesegate, I could care less of VW products, not talking about the sister brands to them. I had minor to serious problems with my Passat which is an ’06 model. The current models look cheaper and less expensive than the cars before them and not worth the money to consider when you have to pay high repair and maintenance costs that are 3/4th. of luxury brand prices of Audi, Mercedes and BMW.

VW do make excellent and fun to drive cars but they are not reliable and the current models are boring and bland nowadays that it is not enough for me to stay with VW.

John Stark says:

Nitrogen Oxide (KNOWN CARCINOGEN) is being spewed into the atmosphere at 40 times the EPA limits X 11 Million cars X their daily mileage around the world …Good way to kill the planet , the actual owners of the cars , and increase carcinogens in the air from the cars smog producing diesel engines..I have had one family member already die from AML leukemia that was directly linked to the amount of daily actual exposure he had from this car . It occurred in less than one year from the point of purchase and then the cost to our household was well over $3 million dollars..Given the shark like tenacity that VW is LOW BALLING THIS FIRST INITIAL OFFER..I would recommend refusing to agree to it. The offer does nothing to address the health concerns of the owners and their families. Each owner must be questioned about health concerns and family deaths that have impacted each plaintiff in this class action suit. Furthermore this is about what NITROGEN OXIDE did to each of our lives and health, as result of a blatant lie that VW cheated on our faith in their cars , while compromising the over all clean air ability of the engines the manufactured. I have been able to talk to several owners who have had VW diesel TDI cars at their homes, and each one has had severe health problems up to and including deaths of family members. I think this is far from being over..AS this sits right now I would rather sue them on this and get far more response about the wrongful deaths that this cheating action has caused each specific TDI diesel owner and each family member per car. I believe this is a cover-up to eliminate the aspect of responsibility to care for the health effects that the carcinogen NITROGEN OXIDE HAS BEEN OVER LOOKED AND SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED FURTHER!!!!