I drive a Skoda. There, I have admitted it in public. Years ago Skodas were the butt of many jokes but nowadays they are very well made, reliable cars that frequently top customer satisfaction surveys. What do you mean you’ve never heard any Skoda jokes?
A man walked into a garage and asked if they had a wing mirror for his Skoda. The garage owner thought about it for a moment and then said, “Yes, that sounds like a fair swap.”
What do you call a convertible Skoda with the roof down?
What do you call a convertible Skoda with twin exhausts and the roof down?
How do you double the value of a Skoda?
Fill up the fuel tank.
Why do Skodas have heated rear windscreens?
To keep your hands warm when you’re pushing it.
What do you call a Skoda driver who says he’s had a speeding ticket?
How do you make your Skoda more sporty?
Wear trainers when driving it.
Had enough? I think you get the idea. Anyway, as I was saying, I now drive a Skoda and it is very comfortable and reliable. One of the reasons why Skoda’s reputation has changed for the better is that they were taken over by Volkswagen.
And at this point some of you have a sense of the direction in which this bloggage might be headed. Because mine is a diesel Skoda. And some diesel Skodas (made by Volkswagen) apparently have the software cheat in their system that enabled them to beat the emissions tests while not meeting that standard in normal use. The problem is that I didn’t know whether my car is one of those affected. Skoda has admitted that over 130,000 cars are affected in the UK so it is possible that mine is one of them.
Eventually I found a Skoda recall website and, after putting in my VIN I was informed that yes my car is on the naughty list. I received a very apologetic message and now wait to hear from Skoda to tell me what they are going to do about it.
At one level I don’t feel particularly let down. My car drives very well and I am quite happy with it.
But one of the reasons that I bought this particular car was that it had such low emissions that it qualified for the lowest possible vehicle excise duty (just above ‘nil’). Over the life of the car that would save a lot of money. Now it seems that is not true. And there is speculation that if Skoda have to change the settings on the engine somehow that might reduce performance/fuel economy in order to achieve the claimed low emissions. And I don’t think I’ll be very happy if that’s the case either way.
We don’t like being lied to do we? We like to think that we can trust people and businesses. We feel let down when we find that they have acted dishonestly. At its most extreme we might even feel conned or betrayed. Some people have expressed something approaching outrage at what VW and their associated manufacturers have done.
If I find myself heading in that direction I have to remember that I am by no means perfect. I lie sometimes. And when I remember that I let go of the stones in my hands and melt away into the crowd. Yet even as I do I hear a voice saying, “I don’t condemn you. Go and sin no more.”
Fresh starts are available for all. Even Skodas!
Be blessed, be a blessing.