DETROIT -- Volkswagen AG has made a liar out of me.
For months, I’ve been telling people about how much I like the 2015 Golf SportWagen TDI that I bought in May. I held out for a year for the arrival of this redesign, which has a sleeker silhouette, more interior space and a new, 2.0-liter, turbocharged “Clean Diesel” engine.
I’ve boasted about how I’ve been averaging 45 to 50 mpg for my 90-mile round-trip commute. And about how diesel prices have actually fallen below regular unleaded gasoline in recent months, making me feel especially smart.
Some friends and family members have asked: “But aren’t diesels dirty?”
“No,” I’ve explained, with the self-assurance of someone who writes about the auto industry for a living. “VW makes ‘clean’ diesels.”
And now I’ve been proved wrong by this especially brazen corporate scandal to which regulators say VW has admitted.
Of course, there was nothing different about my car when I hopped into it this morning. Same quiet cabin, low-end torque, taut handling and lofty fuel economy. It’s just that now I know I’m spewing up to 40 times as much nitrous oxide as the U.S. Clean Air Act permits.
I’ve got enough things on my mind without that sort of ecological guilt to carry around.
So whenever VW issues a recall, I’ll dutifully go to my dealership to have the work done. I’m guessing that could lower the horsepower and/or torque ratings, though. Won’t VW then be obligated to cut checks to me and nearly 500,000 other VW owners as compensation for reduced performance and resale value?
I’m sure there is no shortage of class-action attorneys working on our behalf as we speak. A year or two from now, or whenever this self-inflicted disaster gets sorted out, I’ll happily cash the check.
But I’d rather have the uncompromised car that I’ve been enjoying for the past four months.