I was in Germany when the extent of the VW emissions scandal finally became clear to us all. Amid all that sausage, cake and beer, there was considerable reputational anxiety – and not just for car-making, though it does employ, one way or another, 14% of the country's workforce. The idea that Made in Germany might mean something quite different from now on, was clearly a concern.
What was surprising was not that VW cheated the public, as all car-makers do that in relation to their fuel efficiency data – something which the EU turns one of its many blind, corrupted eyes to. What was really surprising was that VW thought that doing so in the USA was worth the risk given the Fed's willingness to go after transgressors – particularly (though not exclusively) foreign ones. Last week's Economist has a lengthy piece on the issues – A mucky business.
Well, as a VW driver, I'm inclined to believe the emissions date provided by the company about my car – because it's an electric one, and when it's charged from the Semington A solar array, it really does produce no CO2 or NOx – and no American regulator can show otherwise. Evidence, I'd say, of a need to shift as fast as possible to carbon-free transport.