If you own a Volkswagen TDI diesel, I bet I know two things about you: you’re really sick of people asking you about your car, and you recently received an apology letter from VW CEO Michael Horn.
One of our loyal readers sent us this one, and a Volkswagen representative has confirmed that this is, indeed, the actual apology letter sent out to TDI owners:
... and here it is in text:
September 29, 2015
Dear Earlier this month, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., and Volkswagen AG received notice from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Justice, and the California Air Resources Board, informing us that those agencies had determined that certain 2.0L 4-cylinder TDI vehicles do not comply with emissions standards. According to our records, you own or lease one of these vehicles.*
I am writing you today to offer a personal and profound apology. Volkswagen has violated your trust. I understand and fully appreciate your anger and frustration. I would like you to know that we take full responsibility and are cooperating with all responsible agencies I can also assure you that we are committed to making this right for you — and taking steps to prevent something like this from ever happening again.
Right now we are working hard on remedies to bring vehicles into emissions compliance as soon as possible. Getting this right will take some time, but we will notify you immediately once we have more information. Until then, please know that your vehicle remains both safe to drive and legal to drive, as noted by the EPA in its September 18 press release. You do not need to take any action at this time; all we ask for is your patience.
Along with our parent company, Volkswagen AG, we are committed at every level of our company to do what must be done to begin to regain your trust.
If you have questions or concerns, please contact our Customer CARE Center at email@example.com, or by calling 1-800-822-8987. You can also visit www.vwdieselinfo.com.
Thank you for your understanding, and for being a very valued customer. Sincerely,
Michael Horn President and CEO Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.
‘These vehicles include: • VW Jetta TDI (Model Years 2009-2015) • VW Jetta SportWagen TDI (Model Years 2009-2014) • VW Golf TDI (Model Years 2010-2015) • VW Golf SportWagen TDI (Model Year 2015) • VW Beetle TDI and VW Beetle Convertible TDI (Model Years 2012-2015) • VW Passat TDI (Model Years 2012-2015)
Okay, we get it. You’re sorry, you’ll fix it, something something EPA patience something. This letter is a weak attempt at best, Mike. Here, I’ll help you take another pass at it, and if you want, feel free to use this letter for your future diesel-apologies:
September 29, 2015
Look, princess, first of all, let’s all just stay calm. And let’s get one thing clear, right up front: I love you. So much. You’re my everything, you know that? Lots of car makers have customers, but only I have you. And that means something to me.
I know the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Justice, and the California Air Resources Board have been talking a lot of shit about certain 2.0L 4-cylinder TDI vehicles that do not comply with emissions standards. Okay, I get it. I suppose maybe I wasn’t totally up front with everyone about the emissions on those engines. And, yes, I guess I did have a defeat device or two in there, but all that’s over now.
Seriously, baby, you can check my phone and everything. Any time you want.
So, okay, maybe I did lie to those agencies, and maybe the car that I so love to see you drive, the one you look so damn sexy in, maybe that car is emitting about 10 to 40 times more pollutants than I said.
But, damn, do you look fine in that [MACRO: INSERT CAR MODEL HERE].
But here’s what the EPA didn’t tell you: I did it for you.
That’s right. Every lie I told, every defeat device installed on a VW Group diesel product, every single one of those was done for you. Why? Because all I want is to see you happy.
I mean it, baby. I could not BEAR the thought of you driving a diesel with anything less than the performance and fuel economy I know you deserve, baby. You’re a diamond — a goddamned diamond — and I know what kind of performance and economy a jewel like you deserves.
And I swore you would get it, no matter what. Even if it meant lying a little to the EPA and installing cheat codes in your car’s software.
And you know what? I’d do it again. All over again. Why?
Because you’re worth it, baby.
So, sure, I’ll pay my dues now, I’ll take my lumps, and I’ll get your car all compliant with the feds. But I just want you to know that if it was up to me, you would drive the fastest, most efficient, most beautiful diesel my company could make, and to hell with the rest of the world.
Because it’s always been about YOU. That’s why I do all of this. Remember that when you buy your next Volkswagen. Because I made it for you.
I love you so goddamned much it hurts,
President and CEO
Volkswagen Group of America
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.