So I’m one of those guys; those Nazi loving environment hating guys that bought a Volkswagen TDI knowing FULL WELL that several years after I bought it I would discover that it was actually an acid rain factory that was designed to melt baby seals and erode the moral fabric of America.
My wife and I bought it back in October of 2010 as a new 2011 model and its been, more or less, pretty great. Sure its got its problems, but we were coming from a 2000 Passat so as long as its wipers didn’t spin around in circles and it shot wiper fluid out its grill it all felt pretty normal.
Seeing as we bought it in October, as we tend to do with big purchases for some reason that’s likely due to moon phases or cats or pumpkin spice, we were due for our annual taxes and in Utah either a safety inspection, emissions inspection or both depending on the year. Normally these inspections are no big thing; pay your taxes, get a shiny new sticker, be on your way. This year has been a bad year for VW...diesel VW’s...2.0 liter Diesel VW’s from 2009-2014 especially, hey just like mine! Also, did you know that 2011 model year cars need safety AND emissions this year in Utah?
Given the situation with der Volkswagen and channeling my inner DeMuro I thought it would be interesting to document what happened when I decided to take my Cheatie TeeDi in to get sniffered*.
For this adventure I decided to take my car to
CarMax Midas, partly because it was free safety with emissions and partly because I had never experienced the Midas touch and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. (Spoiler Alert: There was NO gold and very little touching)
I walked in and confidently proclaimed that I was here...for an inspection! Those not engrossed in their back issues of field and yacht looked up briefly and back down at their phones. At the same time, I was met with a totally and completely casual looking service manager.
“What’s the make and model”
Ah ha! My first test.
Not wanting to disclose all my secrets up front I was very cagey with my responses. My hope was that in spite of the Dieselghazi server scandal covering automotive news like a discount steering wheel cozy over an ancient tacky leather steering wheel that the kind folks at Midas wouldn’t have heard about diesels, let alone their recent skirting with the dark side.
“Okay, it will be about an hour, can I have the keys?”
“ITS A DIESEL!”
Dammit...so much for cagey. Well, that was it...I was going to be out of car it seemed, that is until VW came up with their sophisticated aftermarket pee bucket solution...real smooth.
For my free hour I did what most people would do; I wandered off to some emergency supply store nearby to pass the time. There I sampled the various flavors of
building materials emergency food bars and quickly became engrossed in a cheerful looking fat green book titled Nuclear War Survival Skills from which I learned a lot...primarily that in the event of a nuclear war my best bet was to strip naked and run towards the light because I have no business being alive in a post nuclear war world.
Armed with this new information and a renewed appreciation for a living above ground and having skin I returned to Midas (Slogan: It’s not a curse, alright!) to meet my fate.
“All done, nothing to recommend!”
“but...its a diesel?!”
“Yeah, one of the guys and I were talking about that, sounds like they’re in some real trouble...anyway here’s your total and your stickers.”
But really, I kinda expected this. I mean according to the letter I got from Mike...I call him Mike...my car was totally legal and legit until they figured this all out.
And so it was; I took it in for a sticker and I got a sticker...easy. There is one catch still, something of a minor sticking point that I haven’t quite figured out how to manage yet: Included with my results was a document that was signed by Midas (presumably with gloves on for safety sake) and included a line for me to sign to confirm that these results are “...accurate to the best of my knowledge”.
Hmmm, the best of my knowledge knows that they are complete crap, hell even the mediocre of my knowledge probably suspects something but what can I do?
If only King Midas were here.
*its a perfectly kromulent word!