Make VW Pay Blog

Cross-country VW tour departure on the local news

By Mike Litt
Consumer Campaigns Director, U.S. PIRG

Yesterday, Danny Katz, CoPIRG director, helped Marcus and Elisabeth kick off a cross-country road trip to Volkswagen headquarters in Virginia to make VW pay for misleading consumers and polluting our air.

Marcus and Elisabeth own one of the 567,000 diesel vehicles in the U.S. that Volkswagen sold as “clean” but was secretly designed with a “defeat device” to emit as much as 40 times the legal limit for smog-forming pollutants. Like many of these “clean diesel” owners, Marcus and Elisabeth put a lot of thought into purchasing their vehicle. Their top priority was emissions and the environment – they founded a non profit that does climate change work around the world. They chose their VW Jetta thinking it was the cleanest on the market and drove it proudly for 6 years. Until they found out they were deceived. Their heart sinks everyone time they look at the car parked in their driveway.

CBS Denver covered their departure:

"Danny Katz of the Colorado Public Interest Research Group, CoPIRG, said, “If a company tricks their customers by putting all that pollution in the air they should come up with a plan to make up for all that pollution that’s been put out there.

To say they are frustrated is an understatement. Over the last few months they have partnered with us to call on VW to pay doing a media event at Volkswagen dealership and writing opinion pieces ins the local media. They were insulted when VW announced they would be sending out $500 gift cards as compensation and eventually “fixing” the defeat device, which Marcus is the first to point out will trade high NOx emissions with high CO2 emissions.

So today, they embarked on a road trip to take our demands, our petitions and their defective car to the VW headquarters in Virginia where they will call on VW to pay. Along the way we are organizing events for them to stop at in Austin, Chicago, Detroit, New York City and Washington D.C.

Learn more about our MakeVWPay campaign here.

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