Volkswagen has hinted in court that it may have to buy back hundreds of thousands of diesel cars that it can’t fix to bring them into compliance with air quality rules following last year’s emissions scandal.
Too little, too late?
If you’re not aware, VW had a problem with knowingly putting a cheat into place so diesel engines that were emitting high levels of air pollution could show lower emissions readings when hooked up to testing equipment. It was a clever, diabolical thing the company did. But as is often the case in life, the cover up is always worse than the original problem.
VW has been completely tone deaf in how they’ve handled this debacle. They’ve mistreated their dealers and customers. After getting caught red-handed, the company has still not come up with any meaningful plan to truly compensate the customers who got cheated and the dealers who are facing greatly diminished sales from being affiliated with a damaged brand.
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I talked two weeks ago about VW needed to come up with a system to offer buy backs to those who bought their cars and suffered with the loss in value. Finally, in front of a federal judge, one of the lawyers for VW admitted the company may have to buy back some of the impacted diesel cars.
How insane is it that a hired gun lawyer in court under oath is the first one to float this idea? Where is the leadership, the ethics, the responsibility and the morals of the company’s executives? They seem totally missing from the culture of VW.
So now VW admits they may have to buy back about a third of a million cars. So I say again, to the people who occupy the company’s executive suites, you need to show leadership and responsibility and come up with a plan to take care of the customers.
Period. Simple. Do it. Every day you delay further tarnishes the brand.
As for the dealers, they’ve put a lot of money into their dealerships. These entrepreneurs suffer mightily if they have a VW sign on their investment and they should be taken care of as well.
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