I could rant on about this, but instead I’m going to let you draw your own conclusions. Below is the content of a letter that has been falling through the letterboxes of VW owners with cars affected by the emissions scandal for the past week.
See if you can spot the word that I think is missing, and then perhaps contrast the tone with UK MD Paul WIllis’s grovelling apology to the Parliamentary Select Committee last week, which I’ve put below for comparison.
Sure, this letter was written by lawyers and VW is treading on eggshells in fear of multi-billion-pound law suits, but can someone explain to me why a group of MPs are worth an apology but paying customers are not?
“I am writing with reference to the recently highlighted emissions issue regarding EA189 diesel engines and am now in a position to confirm that your vehicle is affected by this issue.
“I want to reassure you that all affected vehicles, including yours, remain technically safe and roadworthy in relation to this issue. There is no need to take any immediate action.
“However, a service action including your car will be required to rectify the issue. Technical solutions are currently being developed and the matter is being worked upon with the utmost urgency.
“We will contact you again when the technical solution is available, to confirm the next steps. Please be assured that, when the work relating to this issue is carried out on your vehicle, the repair will be at no cost to you and we will do our utmost to minimise the inconvenience to you.
“In the meantime, please visit the dedicated area on our website at www.volkswagen.co.uk/dieselinfo where you can find the latest updates.
“Yours sincerely, Alex Smith, Director of Volkswagen.”
And here’s what Willis said to the Parliamentary Select Committee: “I'd like to apologise sincerely and unreservedly that Volkswagen has significantly let down his customers and the wider public."
*Update* Volkswagen has responded to this blog, highlighting that the letter was drafted to respond quickly to customers whose vehicles were affected and was sent out prior to Paul Willis's appearance at the Transport Select Committee. It has since reiterated Willis's statements, apologising to customers.