Portland, Oregon is known for being a bit hipster. Actually, it’s very hipster. Like a lot hipster. So it’s typically filled with Toyota Priuses (What’s the plural for Prius?) and Nissan Leafs so that they can save the planet one organic coffee shop parking lot at a time. So you can imagine that the residents of Portland are quite upset with the latest scandal involving Volkswagen and its diesel engines. Being upset about what Volkswagen did is understandable and acceptable. But badgering TDI owners is not.
Some Portlandian owner of a Volkswagen TDI found a note left on their car from another angry Portlandian. The note informs the owner about the latest Volkswagen scandal and what it does to the environment, as if the owner has had their head under a rock for the past week and was unaware. But after simply informing the owner, the concerned note-writer decided to tell how VW was founded by Nazis and that the owner should purchase a new vehicle. They didn’t recommend another vehicle, but you can figure out what it would be if they had.
These kind of busy bodies are not the kind of people that help in any sort of situation. They act as if the owner of this TDI is the problem. The owner was duped just as much as the US government. And it’s not as if every Volkswagen TDI customer can go out and buy a different car as soon as news breaks. Buying a car is a financial commitment and you don’t know what kind of financial situation someone is in, so it’s completely inappropriate to think that the owner should take this hipsters advice and go out and buy a new car. Maybe they can’t, maybe they’re looking, maybe they don’t want to. Leave people alone and let them live.
Also, it’s curious that people are getting so worked up about this. Yes, Volkswagen lied and should be penalized for it. But General Motors recently killed over 140 people with faulty ignition switches and covered it up, but is was penalized at a fraction of what VW is and no one seemed to care even half as much. Volkswagen didn’t kill anyone, nor is there any evidence that its TDI models ever even caused discomfort to anyone, but every loses their minds because it’s bad for the environment. GM killed 140 people and took less than half of VW’s heat. 140 casualties is natural disaster level. If those 140 people were in one location and killed at one time, that’d be considered an act of terrorism. Yet GM gets away with it far easier than Volkswagen because at least it didn’t harm the environment doing it.
But even if Volkswagen committed a despicable crime against humanity, it isn’t the customer’s fault. Don’t leave obnoxious notes on peoples cars who are just trying to live their lives. They didn’t install the defeat device, they didn’t lie to the EPA, they just bought a car with the information they had at the time. That information turned out to be wrong, but that isn’t the customers fault. This note is on par with the atrocious Prius lady who famously harassed a family in a pickup truck. Yes Volkswagen lied, yes it was wrong. But it isn’t the customer’s fault so stop blaming them.