Who Approved the Volkswagen Emission Defeat Device?
The German car maker has recently gotten itself into a sticky situation after the discovery that over 11 million of its vehicles were equipped with emissions control-manipulating software in their engines.
Volkswagen admittedly used the software to cheat on emissions tests on diesel cars, in a bid to fool American environmental officials into thinking its vehicles met emissions standards.
The plan worked fine, they passed the tests and got their cars on the roads… until they got caught. And did it ever come back to gnaw them in the ass.
The scandal has forced the resignation of Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn. Additionally, they face up to $18 billion dollars in fines for breaching environmental standards in the US, as well as numerous customer lawsuits.
Volkswagen diesel cars were emitting up to 40 times more toxic fumes than permitted (forty!) Living in an era where climate change and talks of how to lessen its impact are rampant, producing vehicles that are not environmentally friendly, and then using emission defeat devices to trick officials that they are, is a dishonest, sly and underhanded move that does not bode well for the reputation of the company. In fact, Volkswagen share prices have fell almost 40% since allegations first arose. That’s a huge hit.
But VW’s a big ship, and this scandal, though quite damning, won’t be enough to sink them. They’ll recover in time, and I hope by then that they would have learnt their lesson.