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In the wake of corporate emissions scandal, local VW dealer still fighting to rebuild trust

February 1st, 2016 Posted in Business

By Brian Petty 

Murdock Volkswagen of Logan had only been open a few weeks when the scandal hit.

Now, as Volkswagen and the Environmental Protection Agency work toward an agreement on how the car manufacturer’s emissions-cheating diesel vehicles will be fixed, employees of the local dealership are working to rebuild trust with their customers.

“We bring this brand into the valley and the month that we open it up that’s all the media is,” said Derick Cox, the sales manager at Murdock Volkswagen of Logan. “It’s been something that hopefully we can overcome.”

It hasn’t been easy.

In September 2015 the EPA announced Volkswagen had been cheating emissions tests with its diesel-powered vehicles since 2008.

“There’s been a lot of dialog created by it,” said Guy Baldwin, the service manager at Murdock Volkswagen of Logan. “There’s not any fixes out for it yet, and lots of people show concern. We haven’t been able to do anything, so we haven’t been able to make any repairs.”

Baldwin said the majority of customers he has spoken with about the problem are more concerned with performance and gas mileage and not with emissions.

Indeed, those have been Scott Farrow’s concerns.

“I have not been upset about the emissions problem,” said Farrow, a Utah resident and Volkswagen diesel owner. “It’s a little concerning VW felt the need to dupe the EPA, but at this point there has been zero impact. It isn’t a dirty car, and there are no visible emissions coming from it. The car still gets great gas mileage and performs great.”

Regardless of the nature of customer concerns, though, the problem that has impacted sales.

“It was something we didn’t cause as a retailer, but it has affected us,” Cox said.

“There is going to be your occasional customer that is upset about it and they have a right to be upset,” he said. “Volkswagen wasn’t honest in certain areas and if that’s how they want to react then that’s 100 percent fine.”

Some people have had reservations about driving their vehicles because of what has happened. There was one man who was unhappy because his friends made fun of him because he drove a Volkswagen, Baldwin said.

It has been harder for smaller dealerships to deal with these problems because of their smaller customer base, Cox said. Dealerships that have large inventories can offer better discounts on their gas models, be noted.

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