Volkswagen scandal: who is to blame?

Volkswagen scandal

The current crisis the Volkswagen Group is painful to see. However hope that the revelations coming weeks and months it possible to see more clearly in this story.

Volkswagen has cheated no longer any doubt. The 2-liter turbo diesel engine made by Volkswagen rejects the point of nitrogen oxide emissions well above the standard imposed by US authorities. To work around the rules of the US Agency for Environmental Protection (EPA), VW has used a highly sophisticated software, which is found incidentally in some 11 million vehicles group.

Consequently, the software was not designed solely to meet the standards, but the entire planet. Let’s see if the rest of the world has also been short-changed in the same way. The American standard ULEV2 requires maximum emissions of 43.75 mg of nitrogen oxide (NOx) per kilometer. In Europe, the limit is 80 mg.

Faced with this unprecedented crisis (the stock value had already melted from 35% at the time of this writing), Martin Winterkorn, Chairman and CEO, resigns. If the latter accepts the blame, is it responsible for all that? Why the EPA Does took so long to respond? The EPA does not already threatened VW, in recent months, not to grant him the right to sell its TDi models in 2016 under the pretext that there was a real gap between reported and actual emissions?

Another element which, at Volkswagen, is to blame for this violation of the law? Engineers? Probably for creating such software, but according to the instructions that? The VW board sometimes unreasonable demands. The last one dates back to last week, during the presentation of the Mission-E Porsche, a concept of an electric vehicle in the making.

During the presentation to the media, Martin Winterkorn said the vehicle would have a range equivalent to or greater than 500 km in sporty driving. An assertion that has taken some by surprise Stuttgart brand’s engineers present there, who believed that the specifications of this project sought to ensure that the vehicle can travel more than 500 km on a full charge by adopting conduct “peaceful”. We’ll have to get back to work, said one of the engineers to colleagues as the “bet is far from being achieved.” This anecdote illustrates alone the pressure imposed by management.

Volkswagen wanted to become a world leader in automotive by 2018 and was to position itself strongly in the US market. One strategy aimed precisely to develop the diesel market (only 1% of US sales) to take the upper hand over the competition. Obviously, it is missed.

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