I found my Jetta Sportswagen TDI in 2013.
I bought the car after extensive research, and it was exactly what I needed -- roomy but sporty, solid construction, room in the back for my dogs, excellent safety ratings, and the sweet, sweet gas-mileage-and-carbon-footprint cherry on top of that automotive sundae.
I was seduced. I "spreche die Deutsch."
The last couple of years I have raved to friends and family about my Jetta -- how I can drive to Chicago and back on one tank of gas. I loved how impressed my friends were by the panoramic sunroof.
Even my parents liked this car.
But in recent weeks, this love affair has soured.
First there were the rumors, the sidelong glances, the whispers about whether my Jetta was really all it said it was.
At first I thought, "it’s just rumors. I trust your German engineering."
And when I doubted, I’d lean back and enjoy the view out of my panoramic sunroof.
But now, I know the truth.
At first I called customer service but they couldn’t help me. They said they didn’t know anything and didn’t know when they’d have any information to share.
As more and more came out about the emissions cheat, I found myself slumping deeper into the driver’s seat. I can’t even enjoy the panoramic view anymore, and the whole time, I waited.
I wanted to hear what Volkswagen had to say for itself. And then the letter came.
"Girl, I know you found out I’ve been cheating, and I just want to tell you… I’m sorry.
I know I broke your heart and I promise, girl, I’ll never do it again.
I’m trying hard to make things right -- to make things like they used to be -- but it’s gonna take time.
So, please girl, be patient.
Just wait and see. I’ll be better.
Girl, I know it’s hard to trust me again, but give me a chance and I’ll prove myself to you.
If you want to talk just call me, 1-800-822-8987 or email me, or visit this informative website.
Baby, thank you for believing in me."
The signature is scanned, but they put it in blue ink so I’d know they meant it.
So here I am -- surrounded by a cloud of shame -- a gas tank full of broken promises -- and the sinking feeling that my resale value will never, ever be the same.
*This post has been updated.