Renowned German automobile company Volkswagen has reportedly cheated EPA emissions tests. According to reports, Volkswagen diesel vehicles were fit with a software that allowed them to emit fewer carbon emissions during EPA regulation tests than when they were on the road. This sophisticated software allowed these diesel vehicles to know an Emissions test was being conducted by measuring for a certain steering wheel position, barometric pressure, vehicle speed, and more. Consequently, while on the road, these vehicles were emitting 10-40 times more emissions than the legal limit.
As a result of this deliberate action to bypass regulations, Volkswagen has lost 20% of its stock in fines which measures an estimated 18 billion U.S. dollars. Additionally, the EPA has ordered that the U.S recall nearly half a million Volkswagen vehicles that were affected by this scandal. Affected models include the beetle, Jetta Passat, golfs, and Audi A3 all of which were fitted with the so called Clean diesel technology. This scandal has allegedly affected an estimated 11 million vehicles worldwide. Volkswagen’s CEO released a statement saying “our company was dishonest” and that they “totally screwed up”. He later resigned from the position and the German government plans to take legal action against him and his associates.
This scandal spells trouble for the German economy. The German economy is among the most well off in the world, topping the European Union in GDP. Germany’s economic success is largely due to their success in exports, a big portion of which is the exports of automobiles. Given that Volkswagen is a major player in the German automobile industry, this incident turns out to be bad news for the German economy. Fortunately for Germany, this scandal did not affect other major German automobile companies such as Daimler and BMW. Overall, the future for Volkswagen is unclear, but it is likely that it will be an uphill battle for the company going forward.