The controversy over the VW diesel emissions deceit rumbles on, as it's almost certain to do for some time to come, but with some additional fuel thrown on to the fire recently with the latest revelation that there are also some discrepancies, as yet to be fully explained, in CO2 figures for some of Volkswagen Group's models. I'm not going to even begin to defend or excuse any of the obvious irregularities that have been going on at Volkswagen AG, but I also can't help thinking that the whole issue has been blown up out of all proportion and that there are all sorts of alternative agendas involved. Just about everyone from rival manufacturers to ambulance-chasing claims companies seem to be jumping on the bandwagon to make capital out of it. To listen to some commentators, you'd almost think that the Volkswagen Group is single-handedly responsible for every kind of atmospheric pollution up to and including global warming and the hole in the ozone layer.
It's almost a shame that Volkswagen management is just so apologetic about it, instead of saying something like 'Sorry about that – some of our guys fiddled a few figures, but no-one died..!' And that's a very good point, because although there are undoubtedly long-term health issues associated with NOx emissions, the immediate effects don't compare with the indisputable dangers of airbags not going off, ignition switches cutting out, brakes failing and cars catching fire or not meeting European crash test regulations, all of which have been swept under the carpet by other manufacturers in recent times.
Compared with all the other issues going on the world; widespread poverty, famine and war, the migrant crisis and airliners being blown out of the skies, not to mention impending natural disasters, supervolcanoes, tsunamis and asteroid strikes, Volkswagen's indiscretions with emissions testing are but the least of our global worries.
Maybe someone should conduct a roadside
survey and stop thousands of motorists to ask them what the official mpg figures are for their car, what the actual mpg figures are for their car and what CO2 emissions are quoted for their car, without looking it up, and see what proportion have even a clue about any of them, let alone what NOx means. I've even had to correct a couple of motoring journalists who've written about nitrous oxide; it would be almost laughable, if that wasn't such a pun.
Indeed, I'll also be interested to see, when the technical solutions are finally revealed and ready for implementation,
just what proportion of those owners affected actually take up the offer to have the remedial action carried out. I can almost see the tumbleweed rolling across the workshop floor…
Just as we were busy preparing this issue for press, time was taken out for a trip over to the Shakespeare County Raceway for a management meeting to plan for next year's GTI International and the dates have been fixed for July 9-10, slightly later than normal. It would seem, though, that 'great minds think alike' and someone else has also targeted a track-based event for that same weekend, which isn't exactly ideal for either parties. Never mind, though, as we've clashed with the British F1 Grand Prix before and it doesn't seem to have done too much harm. Next year will also see the 40th anniversary of the Golf GTI, so we'll certainly have something to celebrate!