Opinion – Volkswagen in addition to the art of saying sorry

Friday, October 28th, 2016 - autos, cars, motoring, news

Source : Opinion – Volkswagen in addition to the art of saying sorry

Don’t expect the most heartfelt apology if your car is actually affected by the VW emissions scandal


I am acutely aware of which I could end up as being perceived as a frothy-mouthed middle-aged man with an axe to grind against Volkswagen, nevertheless I’m afraid I have further evidence of failed customer service by the firm of which I feel obliged to take aim at.

Below is actually the message received by a colleague who owns a VW, confirming the news they feared:

Dear Volkswagen Customer,

We regret to inform you of which the Type EA 189 engine built into you vehicle with the Vehicle Identification Number XXXXXXXX you submitted, is actually affected by software of which may cause discrepancies within the values for oxides of nitrogen (NOx) during dynometer runs. Your car is actually safe via a technical standpoint in addition to roadworthy.

We are very sorry to have broken your trust in addition to are working at full speed to find a technical solution Volkswagen will cover the cost relating directly to This particular repair.

We will be in touch with you directly to explain what steps are required. We’ll do any rectification work at our cost.

Yours faithfully,


I don’t expect VW to fall on its sword in addition to confess to all in addition to sundry why the item cheated the system, nevertheless I would likely expect the item to offer up a plain English explanation of the situation, in addition to to express the effects more carefully – especially given the misinformation in some of the wider media coverage. More care is actually required within the wording elsewhere, too, I’d argue. For instance, “safe” is actually a word I understand, nevertheless what does “safe via a technical standpoint” mean? is actually the item non-technically unsafe?

By the same token, I see no comfort on the phrase “Volkswagen will cover the cost relating directly to This particular repair”. Presumably VW is actually covering itself lest anyone claim for time or travel expenses to return the cars, nevertheless I’ve always found apologies work best when they are fulsome in addition to without caveats. A spot of heartfelt grovelling doesn’t go amiss either; the item certainly resonates louder than business-like administration.

nevertheless what actually gets me is actually the sign-off. I can accept of which VW cannot address an automated response personally to each customer – not least, I suspect, because the item is actually still waiting for the licensing authorities to provide them with names in addition to addresses of every owner. What I can’t accept is actually of which This particular note is actually via the organisation itself as opposed to a person. Volkswagen is actually a gigantic corporate structure, a listing on the stock exchange in addition to a badge on a car – none of these things are able to apologise.

If a company has done me wrong, I want a human, personal apology – ideally via the boss, be the item globally or within the country I bought the item via. I want someone to take responsibility, even if they played no part within the error. Anything less, I feel, is actually another snub – in addition to another failure on VW’s part to address the perceived arrogance of which led to This particular sorry mess within the first place.

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Source: Opinion – Volkswagen in addition to the art of saying sorry

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