Essay Example on Volkswagen Emission Scandal: Emissiongate Revealed

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  8
Wordcount:  1960 Words
Date:  2023-03-16

The emission scandal of Volkswagen Company is also known as the Emission gate, and it was reported in 2015 after researchers gave a clue to the government one year earlier. The German carmaker was charged with the crime of adjusting its technology to evade the Clean Air Act check by the Environmental Protection Agency of the United States. The technology developed by the carmaker and installed in most of the cars it produced was a turbocharged direct injection which falsely controlled emissions by detecting any tests whether one of the most preferred Car Company in the United States and the world at large. The technology was designed in such a way that it circumvented any emission tests by the United States environmental bodies which allowed the cars to emit nitrogen oxide without being detected and this has caused the company a lot of losses in terms of fines, top executives being charged in court and many users opting for other competitor cars causing low sales.

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The software was nicknamed defeat devices because it tampered with all checkups of the Volkswagen cars that were using diesel engines. The technology made engines appear to be fit only when they were being tested in labs for the emission standards (Atiyeh, 2019). The cars emitted nitrogen oxide in huge amounts, which were 40 times the limits that were set for environmental standards.

Since the car company was reported to the government, it has been found guilty and has paid fines amounting to more than $20 billion. Six executives have also been changed since the company was reported for plotting to scheme to lie to the government and a failure to meet set standards (Atiyeh, 2019). The charges were made difficult by the fact that the executives lied by making their engines appear to meet all standards only when they were being tested.

The company has had a history of having cars that have touched the hearts of very many people with a study of characters' brilliant and flawed leaders and how the corporate culture of the industry they run can become toxic. The dysfunctional culture of the corporate can impend the presence of the largest corporations in the world (Atiyeh, 2019). In September 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency realized that Volkswagen cars that were sold in America changed their performances accordingly to reach the desired results whenever they were being tested.

When interrogated, the company admitted that it had fit over 11 million cars worldwide with the technology. The EPA also accused the company of modifying the software on the engines that used diesel and had a capacity of 3 liters, most of which were fitted to Porsche, Audi, and other models of the Volkswagen (Atiyeh, 2019). Many other irregularities were noted in the tests which were done to measure the levels of emission of Carbon dioxide.

Full details of the style by which the defeat device worked showed that the engines were fixed with computer software that worked through monitoring the operation of the engines, the monitoring speeds, the steering wheel position, and the air pressure (Atiyeh, 2019). When the cars were set for inspection in the labs, they were placed on stationary test rigs, but the deficits were hard to note because the technology fitted in the cars put them in safety modes where the engine's power and performance were reduced below its normal working levels. However, as soon as the cars were back on the road, the engines switched off the modes for testing the pollution levels and went back to high pollution levels.

Volkswagen had created an alternative that would be effective in conserving the environment. The alternative was the adoption of the use of diesel in the cars produced. The engines which use diesel are environmentally friendly due to their efficiency in fuel compared to gasoline. They also produce less carbon dioxide (Atiyeh, 2019). They, however, come with a share of dangerous drawbacks because they produce more nitrogen oxides than cars that use gasoline. Nitrogen oxide is a very poisonous gas due to it containing very fine and small carcinogenic particles of soot that made it easy to infect the environment.

The Clean Air Act of 1970 forced Volkswagen to participate in different trade-offs that worked to deal with the economy of the fuel and the cars' style and performance (Atiyeh, 2019). This company did not want to take part in any trade-offs because it feared that they would be affected, and the sales would reduce tremendously. The only solution that the company's engineers had was to cheat using the defeat device where it broke the rules and faced a deficient in the lack of balances and checks.

When the cars were being tested, they were placed in test mode, which made them be seen as fully compliant to the federal levels of emission. However, when the cars were driving normally, the switches that were computerized changed to a separate mode that changed how the car worked (Atiyeh, 2019). This mode created more power and mileage for Volkswagen cars, but it led to the emission of an air pollutant that causes lung cancer.

Volkswagen recalled its cars, and many states that follow standards of zero-emissions prevented Volkswagen users from renewing any registrations of the car before they completed the fix. Owners of Volkswagen needed to be compensated by the company for the mistakes it made in making false advertisements, which encouraged the clients to buy the cars (Atiyeh, 2019). In 2017, approximately 3500 owners of Volkswagen cars were asked to accept all terms for the payment and collection of all settlements.

Volkswagen made its situation worse because it did not stop at cheating as it continued with its strategy of advertising about how environmentally friendly it was and why the customers were supposed to buy the diesel cars. Americans drivers were convinced with the advertisements, and the passenger car sales in the United States increased at tremendously high rates (Atiyeh, 2019). Volkswagen was reported to be responsible for a large increase in the sale of diesel cars in the country, and this cheating the people in the country, and the government made the case to be labeled as regulation violations and huge consumer fraud.

The engineers had no idea that the fraud they took part in could be detected as they were unaware of the possibilities of measuring car emissions when it was in motion. A regulator from Europe was the first one to question how cars using diesel in the United States were capable of preserving clean air and following the rules set by the United States government (Ewing, 2017). When the engineers from the company were questioned about the report given about the cars they produced polluting the environment, they refused to become transparent with the truth and opted to again lie by creating a story to prove that they were not on the wrong. They destroyed any evidence that would make them be exposed to the world.

It was evident that the people who worked in Volkswagen were willing to take part in all types of illegal activities to ensure that the ambitions of the company were fulfilled. This fact makes the scandal the unique one as it was not motivated by money like other scandals experienced in the past (Ewing, 2017). A good example is in the banking scandals where people who were employed in those organizations were involved in different scandals where they tried to steal money or make a lot of money from bonuses they illegally got from the organizations.

The employers in Volkswagen were not motivated by money or making themselves rich from stealing; rather, they created so they could maintain their jobs by ensuring that the company's goals were met (Ewing, 2017). The expectations that the top management had for the employees in the company made them defend the market share at any cost, even if it meant lying to the governments of various countries worldwide where the cars were exported to.

The world, through the efforts of Dan Carder, who was a researcher, learned that Volkswagen had installed 11 million cars with the technology that made it hard to reveal that they emitted up to four times the maximum emission levels that had been set by the government (Ewing, 2017). Apart from the fine and six of the top managers being charged in court, German prosecutors are yet to leave the issue hanging.

Matthias Muller, who was the CEO of the company, was placed under investigation of whether he had lied to investors about the emissions and the scandal that hit the company. Affected customers from all over the world were hit hard by the revelation that the cars they trusted and used a lot of money to buy were either going to be recalled or be banned from use (Ewing, 2017). The authorities from Germany and Europe investigated Daimler and Volkswagen for allegedly colluding to fix the prices of the different technologies such as diesel over the past decades.

It is surprising how for more than ten years, no regulator on the Atlantic had noticed that the company was violating the environmental rules by using a cheat. The huge company with more than 600,000 employees and billions of profit each year became vulnerable to the small group that was willing to do anything to ensure that the company's goals were met (Ewing, 2017). One top employee from the company was locked in jail after being found guilty for leasing with the United States regulators.

Muller and other top employees who played management roles in the company were not found guilty, but they are still being kept busy by the investigations that have been running for a long period. The company opted to shift from making diesel cars to making electric cars so that it could get its loyal customers back (Ewing, 2017). They have, however, found a hard time advertising their products again and ensuring that the customers come back to buying the cars like before. People all over the world are upset, and there is no possible strategy to trust the Volkswagen Company again.

Scandals are most likely to happen when top managers lack a clear behavior standard rule to govern the employees and ensure that they display good societal norms. A great strategy to avoid such a situation again in the future is for the company to draw clear boundaries between behaviors that are accepted and those that are unacceptable between different employees (Ewing, 2017). All employees should be evaluated regularly about their behavior in their lines of duty so as to avoid cases of cheating.

The company should also avoid setting standards that are unachievable in a certain life span so that the employees are not forced to cheat to the public and the world at large with the aim of achieving those standards and goals (Ewing, 2017). The government should use strong procedures for internal audits and ensure that active and engaged directors are employed in the company to enact practices that are essential for placing the company in its tracks whenever it goes off track and goes against the standards and regulations set.

Ewing (2017) explains that the case of Volkswagen will go down in history as one of the greatest corporate scandals even though it has had a positive impact on millions of people who have been great fans of the cars. The scandal is explained as a big way through which it has shown how corporate culture can become toxic and become dysfunctional in such a way that it threatens the existence of many mighty corporations.


The technology that was used in the emission evasion of Volkswagen was designed in such a way that it circumvented any tests by the United States environmental bodies. These evasions allowed the cars to emit nitrogen oxide without being detected, and this caused a lot of negative effects on the environment and people due to ca...

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Essay Example on Volkswagen Emission Scandal: Emissiongate Revealed. (2023, Mar 16). Retrieved from

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