"Excuse Me, I Have the New Cheat Box" - VW Presentation Is Interrupted in Geneva

VW presentation in Geneva 1 photo
Photo: Screenshot from YouTube
We've seen people running naked on football fields and politicians getting served pies directly to their faces, but we never thought this kind of manifestations would make their way into the automotive world as well.
On the other hand, we never thought we'd have a company (and the second largest one, no less) lie so blatantly to the authorities and, even worse, to its customers about essential features of its cars such as the level of NOx emissions. Volkswagen thought it could con the entire world and, last fall, its ambitious plan backfired in the most spectacular way possible.

Understandably, a lot of people were upset: the ones who bought the faulty cars were probably the most entitled to feel enraged by the whole situation, but environmentalists were pissed as well. They saw this as proof of the nonchalant way in which big car makers treat the issue of pollution caused by the vehicles they build, and given the evidence, it's almost impossible now to argue against them.

Volkswagen has suffered enough from the backlash of the Dieselgate scandal, but apparently some people think it deserved more. Venting your anger on the Internet is one way of dealing with it, but it will rarely achieve more than just blowing off some steam. If you want to send your message across to more people, you need to find a bigger stage.

How about the 2016 Geneva International Motor Show? Yes, that'll do just fine. A man dressed as a Volkswagen engineer took advantage of all the people gathered around the stage, and the cameras pointed towards it for an official presentation and came on to put on his little show. Not trying to upset anybody at Volkswagen, but his short moment was miles better than the upright presentation he interrupted.

The man - who is yet to be identified - came on the stage saying "Excuse me, I have the new cheat box," while carrying some sort of boxy device and what looked like a spanner. "No one's going to find out about this one," he continues, as he lies on the ground under the car and pretends to work on the engine. The Volkswagen official on the stage was clearly not prepared for this interpolation, but he does attempt to crack a joke: "It doesn't need repairs, it's a perfect car." Oh my God, that was so bad it almost physically hurt.

As three security guards rush to the stage, our mechanic says that "Mr. Muller said it was OK as long as no one finds out about this." He then turns towards the public and goes "if you could just keep it quiet this time it will be OK," before addressing the official one last time: "Did you not get the memo?"

The man is finally taken off the stage (gently, as Volkswagen clearly doesn't need any more scandals on its hands) and the presentation resumes as if nothing happened. Personally, I think Volkswagen missed a golden opportunity here. If the man on the stage took one minute to talk freely about the whole dieselgate scandal, saying how sorry the company was one more time and just acknowledging the fact that what they did was wrong, it would have been a great boost for the brand.

Instead, he preferred to brag about the car being "perfect" and just sweeping everything related to the emissions scandal under the rug as if it didn't matter. Well. Volkswagen, it matters, and you're not making it any easier for you. It's time you took that broomstick out of your a** and started acting more like the image your new commercials try to portray. Better luck next time, because you definitely messed this one up good. As for that man, too bad he was one day late for the Oscars.

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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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