OK, so in 2003 I wait for the end of the year deals and buy the cheapest new TDI on the lot and probably in all of creation. It never sees a dealer again until 2014 when I drop by another VW dealer to show them some surface rust on the front fenders. VW proceeds to spend over $2000 to replace that fender and a bunch of other bits and repaint everything. Even gave me a free loaner car for a week, I returned it with a full tank but I doubt they cared. In 2015 I note some paint chipped off the driver’s door exposing rust… Back to VW and another thousand in rust repairs, even gave me an Audi for a loaner. VW is spoiling us… They have a 12 year warranty on rust “perforation”, and they don’t even make you covertly poke a screwdriver through the rusty spot to make said perforation. Don’t matter if you never washed the thing and tailgated salt trucks, VW fixes it for free.

Meanwhile, I bought a new 2013 TDI, this time the stretched version of the Golf that for some strange marketing reason they call a Jetta Sportswagon. VW promptly starts spoiling me rotten with free maintenance for the first 30k miles… I’m forgetting how to change oil on TDIs. Then some environmentalist fringe group tips off the EPA and CARB that VW might be cheating on emissions, and horror of horrors, putting out more Nitrous Oxide (NOX) than EPA allows! Don’t matter to me, I live in the country where air pollution ain’t a problem unless you close the garage door with you and the running car inside. Otherwise the car is an environmental all star, with one of the lowest greenhouse gas outputs around, a useful life measured in decades, and all the parts marked for recycling in case it ever comes to that.

So I’ve suffered no losses due to this excess NOX, but VW further spoils me with two $500 loaded debit cards, one of which has to be spent at a VW dealership… So now I’m probably getting a couple more services and/or a lifetime supply of oil and filters too. OK VW, that’s quite enough generosity for now, I’ll maybe be back for some rust repairs around 2024 or so. But Nooooo… EPA and CARB are fightin’ mad at havin’ been duped, and the trial lawyers are setting off a feeding frenzy of TDI owners that thing they deserve a full refund, treble damages, AND more $$$ for “pain and suffering”.

Now GM would have held off at least a couple years before admitting there was even a problem, then spent  the better part of a decade waiting for half the affected cars and/or owners to expire before agreeing to a pennies on the dollar settlement, never having admitted fault. VW, the real “Generous Motors”, ‘fesses up within days of the ginned up “scandal” breaking and puts a stop sale on the accused cars in inventory. Barely six months later they’ve settled up with EPA, CARB, FTC, and the soon to be undeservedly enriched sharks of the trial bar. Here’s the judge’s summation of the deal:

“It is also my understanding that the agreement will give
consumers several options, including the option to have
Volkswagen buy back their vehicle; and, subject to governmental
approval after further testing, the option to have the
consumer’s vehicle modified in accordance with the agreement;
and for those consumers who have leased their car, to cancel
the lease and return the car to Volkswagen.”

Rumor has it that VW will further totally, utterly, and completely spoil us TDI diesel drivers rotten with $5000, payable upon having the recall performed or returning the car to VW. Rumor also has it that the buyback price will be the cars retail value as of September 2015 when the scandal broke, and we’ll have two years after the deal gets finalized this summer to get the recall done or surrender our TDIs to VW. Those rumors have been circulated to such a degree in the press that they’ll probably be reality.

Now we diesel drivers are a cheapskate lot, known for keeping two of those solid state heaters/coolers in the trunk, one set to heat so we can run all day on the 5 for $5 burgers from Arby’s and the other set to cold so we can make McDonald’s $1 any size soda last through three states. We’re good with numbers too, routinely working out cost per mile figures to the hundredths of a cent in our heads while winding our way through traffic with a stick shift. So if VW is going to give me the $20k or so my TDI was worth last summer plus another $5k in “damages” I’ve never suffered and I’ve got at least two years to turn it over to VW, It’s sorta like an all you can eat buffet of miles… What diesel driving gearhead could resist?

So VW, you’ve spoiled me rotten. No point in saving this TDI for the next two decades, I’m puttin’ on the miles! Political event 300 miles away= Road trip. Chase tornados across the state… Why not, they ain’t deductin’ for hail damage. And Roger, Mark, and the rest of my airhead friends in Florida… We’ll give your tired Toyota and Crown Vic a rest and drive my TDI everywhere. Heck, might even let you smoke cigars in the back seat if you open the windows, VW ain’t gonna care. And on the last day of the two year fix or give it back period, I’ll do a four wheel drift into the VW dealer’s lot and toss ’em the keys… And buy another new VW!

Then I’ll see if I can get a good deal on buying back the ’13 TDI, knowing I’ll have rust warranty coverage until 2025, and probably some emissions warranty too… VW, you’ve spoiled me rotten!

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