Consumer Reports magazine has posted an article on its website questioning Volkswagen’s ethics, as the organisation found differences between a VW Passat press car and the same model it bought for reviewing.
According to CR, „manufacturers try and game the product review process. There have been plenty of press vehicles that the Consumer Reports Autos engineers and editors have driven that felt just a teensy bit better than the version we bought at the dealership to test”. This could mean some automakers tweak their press cars so that they get better reviews from the media.
Consumer Reports addresses a particular case, that of the 2012 VW Passat, which had plastic covers on the boot hinges as a press car but lacked those particular elements when bought from a dealership. „Like all the vehicles we put through testing, Consumer Reports buys retail samples at a car dealership. I personally purchased the Passat TDI we’re testing. As you can see in our images, none of the Passats have the two plastic covers found on the press cars. Consumers apparently only get a cover for the wiring loom hinge; the other one goes bare,” CR said on its website.
The organisation suspects manufacturers could modify even further their press cars and concludes with a straightforward sentence: „Shame on VW and the manufacturers who deceive the public through this practice.”