The group vice president for quality and service at Volkswagen Group of America has revealed US-spec models are designed to decisive Americans for their own good.
The group vice president for quality and service at Volkswagen Group of America has revealed US-spec models are designed to deceive Americans for their own good. While this sounds rather devious, Marc Trahan told Edmunds the cars are designed this way because "Americans have different expectations."
Trahan points out a number of examples but one of the most interesting involves the climate control system which effectively lies to owners. As he explains, when European customers set the temperature to 72° F (22° C) that's what they get. Americans, on the other hand, "will complain it is too warm" so their climate control system pumps out air that is actually 67-68° F (19-20° C) despite being set at 72° F (22° C). Oddly enough, Trahan says "That is purposely done because that is what the customer wants. We have the data that shows that."
Another interesting example involves the throttle. While Europeans want linear acceleration, Americans want lots of power in the first 10-20 percent of accelerator pedal travel. As a result, Volkswagen modifies the throttle mapping and shift points to prevent Americans from complaining the car is underpowered.