“It doesn’t need repairs. It’s a perfect car!” said Volkswagen automobile executive Juergen Stackmann, suddenly defensive when a protestor interrupted his speech and scurried across the stage at a Geneva Motor Show on Tuesday. Outfitted in a Volkswagen repairman uniform, the protestor, British comedian Simon Brodkin, pretended to install a “cheat box” on the car — a funny, fake version of events that were not funny and very real.
In 2015, environmental regulators discovered that Volkswagen had been installing “defeat devices” that tricked regulators into thinking its diesel cars met U.S. emissions standards, when they were actually releasing too much pollution to meet the standards all the time. The software allowed Volkswagen to “cheat” on emissions tests by detecting when the engine was being tested, and alter its performance.
According to The Telegraph, Brodkin is the same man who threw fake money at suspended FIFA president Sepp Blatter last year.
The prank lasted a glorious five seconds, with Brodkin even managing to poke his head under the car’s bumper. Alone on the stage for a few moments before security ushered the protester away, Stackmann did his best to fend off the weight of the biggest automobile scandal in decades.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you very much!” Stackmann said, probably praying for a swift and painless end to his living nightmare.
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