When the Environmental Protection Agency first alleged that Volkswagen had found a way to bypass emissions requirements for their TDI diesel cars, I was happy to look the other way- just as I and millions of other Volkswagen owners have happily overlooked the auto manufacturer’s Nazi roots. Now though, with the company’s admission that they purposefully installed emission test cheating software in 11 million cars worldwide, I’m reeling. Floored. I can’t believe that the car company founded by Nazis cheated on emissions.
Did they really think they’d get away with it? Surely, someone on the chain of command must have felt a pang of guilt as installation of the “defeat device” was given the green light, allowing TDI cars to detect when they’re being tested and then emit far fewer pollutants than in normal operation. If the car company with a well-documented Nazi past can’t be trusted, I’m left wondering if anyone can be trusted in this callous world where apparently, anything goes in the name of making a few bucks. Shame on the car company founded by Nazis.
So now begins the familiar parade of corporate shaming, the muttered mea culpas, the claims from executives that they were just following orders. Already CEO Martin Winterkorn has fallen on his sword, being replaced by Matthias Mueller. The manufacturer faces billions of dollars in in fines, and even possible criminal prosecution. Industry analysts agree that there is no price that can possibly be put on the damage done to the image of the car company founded by Nazis.
The question remains though, whether auto-lovers the world over will ever forgive Volkswagen for such an unconscionable violation of ethics. Only time will tell.