The VW Scandal – and a Breakup Letter

vwI haven’t been around much lately.  We have spent the past several months getting our home ready for sale, and purchasing another one closer to town.  It has been a whirlwind – and it’s not over yet.

In the midst of the chaos, the news of the Volkswagen scandal hit me hard.  Really hard.  In fact, I was so upset, that I was inspired to write my first breakup letter ever.  And I even got to read it on the radio!  Our local NPR affiliate station, KQED, hosts listener perspectives and they thought that my letter would be something that many people could relate to.

Dear Pearl,

For the past four years, you have been the car of my dreams.  You were adorable, spunky, and ecologically minded, just like me.  I have been your biggest advocate, even when people questioned your special diet.

But you have made a fool out of me.  Your very own radio spilled the beans, while we were spending one of our countless trips together in carpool.  Your parents have been dishonest all this time, at the expense of the environment we both claimed to love. And to make things worse, you cheated on 11 million other drivers. Eleven. Million.

Your proclaimed commitment to sustainability turned out to be a lie. I don’t even know who you are anymore and am ashamed to be seen with you.  Yet, here I am – your near constant companion.  I can’t ask you to move out, because where would you go?  Nobody wants you.  You have no value.  We may end up like one of those divorced couples who can’t stand to be together, but who can’t afford to move apart.

Your parents need to fix the current problem as well as the cumulative damage they have done to the environment over the past several years.  For starters, they better make a significant investment from their trust fund on a reforestation project.  Then what? Are they going to buy me out? Or will they just do another software update? Sure, that would fix your emissions problem – but it would probably come at the cost of your Fahrvergnügen and stellar gas mileage, leaving just your adorable shell behind. When I fell for you, I fell for the whole package. And I have been betrayed.

Until these issues are resolved, you will continue to be my ball and chain.  But my love for you is over.  And I can say with confidence, it’s not me, it’s you.

With sadness and regret,
This is Michelle Stern, with a perspective

Do you have a vehicle that has been affected by the Volkswagen scandal?  How are you coping?  I’d love to hear if you had to get out a box of tissues like I did…or if you knew our cars were too good to be true.


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