Friday, December 30, 2016

My new car - and my other new car

I drove my Prius for nearly 200,000 miles, longest I have ever driven any car. It was very useful on the farm. I hauled hay and straw in it, during greenhouse season I could squeeze 17 flats of plants in it. More than one newborn calf took a ride in that car. I got it stuck in fields, had to pull it out of the mud more than once with the tractor. And I hauled milk to the farmers market, where the shareholders picked it up. Occasionally there was a spill. But it soldiered on.

I finally traded it in after moving to town. The guy at the garage told me gently that the car had some odor issues. Oh, really? LOL

I had done my research, and I bought a VW Jetta, diesel, SEL, which was the top of the line. I loved it. On the highway, it got 57 mpg on one trip to Rockford to visit my grandson and his family. It loved to go fast, and the faster I drove, the better the gas mileage!

I had owned it about six weeks when the news hit. VW had deliberately programmed their diesel cars so that they sensed when they were in a testing station, and emissions all met standards. Once the car was on the road, the computer sensed that they were NOT in a test station and reprogrammed the car to run like a deer and get great mileage. They were also producing between 10 and 40 times the allowable amount of nitrogen oxides. That's smog, and that's what irritates lungs.

In Indiana, where we can boast having the worst air in the nation, there are no emission tests for automobiles, of course, so I could have kept driving my car. But being a tree hugging progressive, and remembering a granddaughter with asthma when she was a baby, how could I keep the car, no matter how much I loved it? So I opted to sell my car back to VW.

The local dealer didn't have much choice on the lot for a replacement car, but there was one I fell in love with. I could have waited until I got my refund and bought a different make of car, but I had driven a dog (let's face it, you don't buy a Prius for a power trip) for six years, and my Jetta was fun to drive. So I bought a 2016 Jetta GLI, 2.0 liter engine, drove even better than the 2015 diesel! It sat in my garage, in storage, to keep the insurance down, until the VW dealer pointed out to me that if I wrecked the 2015, which I was continuing to drive, it would no longer be eligible for the buyback program, and even if I was not at fault in the event such an accident should occur, the car would be valued at book, which ain't much, thanks to VW's chicanery. So the diesel went into the garage in storage, and the new 2016 GLI came out. The VW buyback program accounted for the loss in value, and we are being compensated quite well for that difference.

My appointment to return the 2015 diesel Jetta is January 18. I will finally be able to put the new car in the garage. I never dreamed I would own two brand new cars within 15 months of one another. But as of January 18, this single person household will finally be a single car household again.

GLI waiting for its turn in the garage

1 comment:

  1. Wow it seems so strange that your not in another Prius. Your old one was such a work horse. It went places on the farm that should have been meant for only a truck or tractor. Is the VW a push button start. I just bought a 2016 Chevy Spark. Its small and cute. It has the push button ignition and it's nice except a couple times I've forgot to push the break when I started it or forgot to push to shut off. Car is very quiet.