Thursday, September 24, 2015

It's time to buy a new Volkswagen

A couple of years ago I bought a Skoda Superb Wagon to replace my wife's older SUV. There was a time when I never thought I would buy a Skoda but these days they are made by Volkswagen Audi Group (VAG) and are terrific cars. The Skoda Superb is basically an Audi A6 with slightly different body panels and a price that is half the Audi's. It has a two litre diesel engine that produces 125Kw of power and 350Nm of torque, which in a car that weighs just 1500Kg means it goes like a scalded cat. And it is incredibly economical, getting around 800km range from a single tank of gas!

You might imagine that I got a little a little upset the other day to hear that Volkswagen has been 'cheating' its emissions tests on its diesel engines. After all, the Skoda has one of those Volkswagen diesel engines under its hood. But I'm not. In fact, I might take the opportunity of VAG's likely sales slump to press the dealer for a really good deal on a new Volkswagen or Audi.

You see, I don't think that Volkswagen has cheated me at all. I've got a damned good car that is beautifully made, economical to run, and fantastic to drive. And frankly, I don't give a shit about the U.S. Government's emissions standards. After all, this is the government that has lied to world repeatedly about everything from the motives behind the murder of its diplomatic staff in Libya to the extent of the recent hacking of government personnel files and whose leader continues to dupe his people about the impact of his climate change policies. I would rather trust Volkswagen to keep my family and the environment safe than the U.S. Government.

Environmental law has become a trojan horse for government interference in every aspect of our business and personal lives. Emissions regulations and taxes have pushed up the price of energy to levels where many people cannot afford to heat their houses or run their cars, impoverishing the elderly and bringing third-world illnesses to the first-world poor. The demands on companies like Volkswagen to comply with draconian, inconsistent and frankly unscientific environmental regulations impose huge costs on us all. Obviously, someone in the Volkswagen organisation, an engineer with a libertarian streak perhaps, became so fed up with trying to achieve the impossible - a smooth, powerful, fuel efficient car that also complied with all the emissions regulations - that they decided to rig the engine computers to fake the tests.

If nothing else, you've got to admire the chutzpah of it. Certainly, it is no reason not to buy a Volkswagen.

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