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VW's Diesel Disaster

VW's Diesel Disaster

VW's Diesel Disaster


Does the name, Martin Winterkorn, sound familiar?  If not, then it should because he's stirred up quite the hornet's nest recently.  Martin Winterkorn is the newly-resigned and former CEO of Volkswagen—yes, Volkswagen as-in, the world's largest automaker, Volkswagen.  As headlines have revealed; Martin Winterkorn, as well as, the automaker itself, who also manufactures Audi and Skoda vehicles, are currently under criminal investigation by German authorities for falsifying vehicle emissions tests and reports. 


Why A Criminal Investigation?

This is a major, criminal investigation because it is illegal in the United States and Europe to sell a vehicle that has not legally passed an emission inspection.  Thusfor, the investigation has shown that Volkswagen equipped more than 500,000 diesel vehicles in the U.S. alone with specialized software that bypasses emissions testing equipment with false readings.  It has been reported that these vehicles actually emit more than 40 times the legal nitrogen oxide levels.

This discovery has prompted a major U.S recall of all 500,000 vehicles, in which Volkswagen has yet to determine a method of correcting the flaw.  The U.S models below have been identified in the recall;

?  2009 – 2015 Volkswagen Jetta, Beetle, and Golf

?  2009 – 2015 Audi A3

?  2014 – 2015 Passat

In Europe, over 2 million Audi vehicles have been affected, nearly 1.5 million Skoda vehicles are affected, and an undisclosed number of Tiguan vehicles are affected.  Spokespersons of the European automaker has stated, that collectively, approximately 5 million Volkswagen brands are involved globally, which equates to more than 11 million vehicles total.  Winterkorn, who was succeeded by, Matthias Mueller, is said to have had knowledge of the specialized software installations and true nitrogen oxide levels of the vehicles.


Why A Stir Over Vehicle Emissions?

This is simple.  As everyone knows, the Earth's Ozone Layer has been deteriorating for quite some time now.  This deterioration is caused by air pollution, in which vehicle emissions are listed as a leading factor.  Vehicle emissions and exhaust fumes often consists of Carbon Monoxide, Nitrogen Oxide, and other harmful emissions.  These emissions are also detrimental to the health of many who suffer from allergies and sinuses, as well as, harmful to everyone who inhales them, which we all do subconsciously.  Anytime you step outside and take a breath of “fresh air”, you're breathing in these emissions.  While we cannot eliminate these emissions entirely, we can reduce their levels—this is why we have vehicle emissions inspections and why this matter has the level of severity it does. 


The Beginning

How did the entire ordeal begin?  Approximately 1.5 years ago, or longer, an unanimous energy advocacy organization researching diesel vehicle emissions levels became suspicious and employed a third party facility to conduct a more thorough investigation.  It was this facility that found Volkswagen's deception.  It is unclear whether the facility or the advocacy organization then began an ongoing dispute with Winterkorn and Volkswagen in regards to the emissions levels.  Only until the unveiling of current events has Volkswagen confessed any wrong-doing.


Repercussions & Consequences

As one could imagine, the damage toll on attached to the fiasco is staggering—and rightfully so.  Here's whats unfolding;

?  Primary shareholders, Porsche and Qatar experience substantial losses

?  Employees found guilty face heavy fines and more than 10 years in prison

?  Volkswagen has already accrued $7.5 billion in fines

?  The U.S could potentially impose additional $18 billion in Volkswagen fines 

?  Volkswagen's fiscal year expectation are already ruined



Perhaps the biggest question remains. . . Is this the end of Volkswagen? More importantly, how are they going to rectify the situation with with customer who are now trying to dispose of their used vehicles now they are lower in value?




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