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Volkswagen's other crimes (according to Conan O'Brien)

It wasn't just a little environmental fiddling. It was far, far more.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


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I wonder if they'll laugh at VW too. Team Coco screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

I cannot begin to describe the glee on discovering that my own car was tampered with by VW.

The outrage has been swift and loud.

Ever since Volkswagen admitted that its clean diesels were about as clean as Louis CK's mouth, the company has been on the run.

It's not a good look when you admit that you've been tricking the EPA into believing your cars are environmentally friendly, when in fact you've slipped a bit of software into them that's specifically designed to trick the EPA.

Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn resigned, even though he said that he himself had done nothing wrong. The company has now declared it will refit all of the affected cars -- which now aren't just VWs, but Audis too.

So Conan O'Brien sent his investigative team out to discover what other sins lurked beneath VW's cheery exterior.

He found several. They're far more heinous than a little toying with the environment. They display a complete disregard for the moral fabric of society.

Did you know that some VW cars have an onboard computer that hacks into police radar?

Then there's the automatic fake handicapped permits that emerge from behind the rear-view mirror whenever you need them.

What about the self-driving diesel cars -- there aren't many of these -- that actually go out and mug people for you? You didn't know?

VW is now great fodder for comedians. Its brand doesn't quite lie in tatters, but it has to be looked at somewhat askance.

Of course, one question that might be asked is how many people actually bought these cars because they thought they were helping the environment and how many bought them because diesel was cheaper than gas at the time.

We all like to fancy ourselves righteous. The truth is that we'd all prefer it if others stuck to rules more than we do.

I fancy that VW won't be the last car manufacturer that admits to nefarious behavior. I fancy a couple are already working with bleary-eyed PR people, wondering how best to phrase: "We've been appalling. But we're not as bad as Lance Armstrong."

Until then, we have VW as the butt of our jokes. I still think it's hard to think of VW as being as bad as, say, Enron. But there will always be those who will disabuse me.

Here's a headline I just came across: "Volkswagen's scandal is 'worse than Enron.'" Oh, well.