Absent your major activity for the past two years having been contemplating the underside of a rock, you’re probably aware that Volkswagen has been caught cheating on emissions testing for their diesel cars, and is now paying the price globally via fines, forced buy-backs, and, as was revealed last week, arrests of corporate executives. Who pays the greatest price for this malfeasance? Well, the poor consumers who bought or leased VW’s cars in the good faith that they in fact met the standards the company said they did.
Yep, it seems like its always the little guy that gets screwed, and I’m thinking that the screwing is only going to get worse. What I mean is that people bought VW diesels because they were pretty good cars, ones that got amazing mileage and were still fun to drive. When was the last time you heard of a reasonably-priced hybrid being described as fun to drive?
Here’s the thing: the VW cheating scandal only affects cars built after 2008. VW has been selling diesel cars here since the early ’80s. That means there’s a ton of perfectly legal (as far as we know) fun and frugal cars out there just waiting for a fan to make use of them. Therein lies the rub however, as that pool of VW diesel cars is finite, and as owners of contraband diesels give up their dirty ways that fixed supply will be countered by increasing demand. It’s a truism that once you’ve gotten hooked on a VW diesel it’s hard to climb down off that black pony. That leads me to believe that there’s going to be a huge spike in older VW diesel models within the next year. What do you think, should we all start stocking up in anticipation?