Volkswagen Jetta CKD 14

While we know a movie of the dieselgate scandal involving Volkswagen is in the works, it appears that there’s another that’ll get to the heart of the issue, Automotive News reports. It’s expected to come out either in the form of a documentary that’s divided into a number of episodes or a full-length feature film, and will be shot by Steve Kalafer, an Oscar-nominated filmmaker who also happens to be a Volkswagen dealer.

The documentary is called Backfire: The Volkswagen Fraud of the Century, and is still in the process of filming. Based in the US, Kalafer has been a dealer for 39 years now. “I started with two gas pumps and a one-car showroom. I’ve been with all of these manufacturers all of these years,” said Kalafer, who is also chairman of the 17-franchise Flemington Car & Truck Country.

According to the 66-year-old, he’s concerned over the way VW’s leadership has handled the emissions crisis as well as the brand’s long-term fate. In the film, issues will be examined through the accounts of customers, dealers and regulators, and researchers from West Virginia University – who first brought the scandal to light in 2014 – will also be interviewed. “I will not have a point of view. The participants will,” Kalafer disclosed.


The point to all this? “The reality is that unless these issues are dealt with straightforwardly, honestly and with equity, Volkswagen in hindsight will have destroyed their company,” he stressed, adding that decisive measures are needed to face the harm inflicted on customers and dealers.

Those severely affected, in Kalafer’s view, are single-point Volkswagen dealers who have put in their life’s savings and have staked their reputation on the line with the Volkswagen brand – those who have weathered the company’s history of ups and downs in the US. Kalafer claims that to Volkswagen, these dealers are “no more important than a Hershey wrapper after the piece of candy has been consumed.”

Kalafer has also approached the company itself to talk about the film. “When I came to Volkswagen [to discuss the film], they said, ‘why are you doing this?’. I said, to tell the truth,” the filmmaker cum dealer revealed. He noted that the brand has so far been “silent” on ways that it plans to compensate both its customers and dealers.