NEWTON (CBS) — Anne Bancroft loved the way the diesel engine purred when she first got her Volkswagen Jetta six years ago.
“It won Green Car of the Year,” she says. Now, every turn of the key is a reminder of the pollutants it spews.
“We’re a one-car family. We take public transportation as much as we can,” said the Newton woman. “We consider the way we use resources, so it felt like a real betrayal.”
The betrayal is spelled out in a letter VW sent her and thousands of other diesel car owners. The carmaker admittedly put a “defeat device” on its diesel models. That’s hidden software that cheats emissions tests.
It turns out Bancroft’s car may put out certain pollutants as much as 40 times the legal limit. She’s now a plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit.
“Now we’re in this position where the vehicle we’ve been driving has been polluting and there’s nothing we can do about it,” she said.
There is a new headline in her case: it may not only be older models that are affected. VW has now disclosed to U.S. regulators that there’s additional software in 2016 diesel models that could also cheat emissions tests.
Bancroft’s advice to anyone looking to buy the car? “Don’t buy it. Don’t go anywhere near it.”
She had hoped federal investigations would lead to an immediate fix, but the longer she waits, the more she worries her carbon footprint has overstepped its bounds.
Thousands of 2016 Beetles, Golfs, Jettas, and certain Passats are now quarantined. Right now, VW is the subject of a criminal investigation and may face billions of dollars in fines.