VW Scandals through the Ages

After the emissions scandal of 2015, it seemed that no one could stop talking about Volkswagen. They all started predicting that the company would soon go under, and they were all wrong. After all, this scandal is just the tip of the iceberg, and Volkswagen's questionable decisions have been selling newspapers for the last 50 years. It's nothing short of amazing that VW group has kept themselves afloat, and it's certainly a testament to the quality of their vehicles. Anywho, enough brown nosing. It's time for me to tell you about 5 of the worst decisions that any car company has ever made.


1967: The Jagermeister Ad

This Jagermeister ad appeared in many German magazines throughout the Summer of 1967. It features a VW Minibus decked out in a Jagermeister livery. The only other feature of the ad is a caption that roughly translates to "Finally, a car that lets you get loaded before heading to your Mother-in-law's." This ad caused a good bit of controversy with the German Association of Mothers-in-law Against Drunk Driving. However, the scandal did not affect car sales, because drunk driving was totally cool at the time.


1978: The Final Solution Sales Event

The Final Solution Sales Event was a promotional campaign started by a VW, Datsun, and Fiat dealership in Evanston, Illinois. The promo was centered around radio ads that promised listeners a discount if "They traded in their old, decrepit car, for a superior German model." The heads at Volkswagen were quick to let the public know that they had nothing to do with the ads. Although creating an embarrassing situation for the company at large, the citizens of Illinois didn't seem to mind, and VW  sales in Evanston actually went up 20% that year.

1993: VW Accidentally sponsors Dog Fighting Ring

Photo by michalab/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by michalab/iStock / Getty Images

In 1986, an incompetent secretary and several translation errors led to the creation of the Alabama State Dog Fighting Championship: Bred by Volkswagen. Every year, VW paid $50,000 to the ring, which they believed was a charity dinner. This scandal became public in 1993, when police raided the motel parking lot where the fights took place. This was the first controversy to actually lead to a drop in sales, as VW became known as a company of dog killers. Several ASPCA donations, as well as a series of TV commercials featuring cute puppies, slowly reversed that image.


2015: DieselGate

This is the big one, the scandal with the exposure to make every single Youtube commentor into a comedian, overnight. I'm sure you already know all about this, so I'm just gonna move on to the next thing


2017: The Ad with the Banging

This commercial features the hottest implied man on women action to grace the television since Private Practice got cancelled. This seems all well and good, until you realize that the couple isn't using protection. The ad follows the rhythm of banging, kid, trading in their fluid stained car, more banging, more trading. Then what looks like banging, but is actually their litter of spawn destroying the interior. This commercial has forever caused me to associate sexual intercourse with having children, and I don't think I'll ever be able to get that out of my head. Shame on you, Volkswagen, I hope this TV spot leads to your bankruptcy.


By the way, here's a fixed version of that ad: