Filmmaker/ VW dealer to deliver “Backfire” documentary chronicling Dieselgate image

Steve Kalafer is a three-times Oscar nominee who has now unveiled his intention to make a documentary about VW Ag’s major emissions scandal.

The catch is that Kalafer, a 66-year-old producer of 16 films, is also the owner of a Volkswagen dealership – meaning it may be hard for him to sell this story as an unbiased one. Anyways, this new documentary called “Backfire: The Volkswagen Fraud of the Century” will tell real stories from dealers, customers, and regulators. The filmmaker also wants to reach out to former Volkswagen managers and the researchers from the West Virginia University where the diesel issue was first spotted. Kalafer has been a dealer for almost four decades and is now the chairman of Flemington Car & Truck Country – a group with 17 franchises, including a Volkswagen dealership in Flemington New Jersey.

While he has a rather strong connection to the German automaker, Kalafer has stated his documentary will be brought from the perspective of a moviemaker and he will not make any appearances on camera. Jonathan Kalafer, Steve’s son added this project may become either a feature-length film or an episodic series. Kalafer was even queried by VW about his intentions with the documentary and he reportedly answered he wants to tell the truth, adding the company should deal with Dieselgate in a straightforward way and with honesty and equity or possibly end up destroyed.


  • GreatLakesMammal

    Is there enough material here for a movie? I thought that the VW party line was “a couple of rouge engineers tampered with the software”. They certainly must have had their Nikes on!
    On a serious note; I just read in Handelsblatt Global Edition, (#409 4/14/16), that some German politicians are calling for an investigation into the way Angela Merkel’s transportation minister has handled VW “dieselgate” in the German market. Despite the EU allowing higher levels of NOx than does the US; the attempt to fix the home market cars seems to be delayed just as it is in the US. The KBA, (German regulatory authority), approved a fix in January and a recall began. That recall has since been suspended for the Passat because of excessive loss of MPG and performance. Note again that the EU cars do not require as much of a NOx reduction as do the US cars.
    Meanwhile in the US; in January CARB and EPA rejected VWs fix, a March 24 “final deadline” was not so final after all and the NEW “final deadline” of April 21 may still find no resolution. Perhaps it is time for the US politicians to investigate their own regulatory agencies. Remember; it was an independent tester who found the cheat software in the first place, NOT the EPA.