VW Admits to Being a Greedy Corporation but Blames Its Technicians for Not Being Up to Par

VW Poetsch 1 photo
Photo: Volkswagen
The Dieselgate scandal may have lost some of its initial momentum, but, at least as far as Volkswagen is concerned, it’s far from over. The German company still has some engines to fix, not to mention a heavily dented image.
Apparently, Volkswagen’s strategy seems to work like a slow-release valve. The company’s officials hold press conferences now and then, and each time they let out another piece of information that shows the brand’s feeling of remorse over what it did.

The official version continues to state that a relatively small number of employees knew about the defeat device, as Mr. Hans Dieter Pötsch, the Chairman of Volkswagen, said in a press conference yesterday. As proof, Volkswagen has already suspended nine managers suspected to have taken part in the emissions rigging scandal.

Pötsch’s conference follows an ongoing internal investigation that examined approximately 450 experts from inside and outside the company who were involved in the development of the EA 189 diesel engine, as well as over 100 terabytes of data.

The findings come as an official confirmation of what was already suspected: Volkswagen used the defeat device to meet the much stricter NOx emission regulations in the US at that time, all within the given timeframe and budget. This is the most incriminating part for Volkswagen, showing that the company only cared about throwing a new product on the market even though (somebody in) the company knew very well about the emissions rigging.

The investigation revealed a starting point - a decision back in 2005 to launch a large-scale promotion of diesel vehicles in the US - but Pötsch insists it was “a chain of errors” that finally led to the current state of affairs.

Mr. Pötsch is quick to make amends by saying “No business transaction justifies overstepping legal and ethical bounds,” but that’s exactly what VW did. Martin Winterkorn, the group’s CEO during the outbreak of the scandal (even though back when it all started, it was Ferdinand Piech who was in charge) has been sacked, together with nine managers thought to have been directly involved in the nefarious decision.

But, just like the investigation, Volkswagen’s woes are far from over. The company’s trying to play down the CO2 scandal and, to be honest, it’s somehow succeeding, but its ambitions of becoming the world number one must now take a back seat behind the attempt of saving the brand’s image together with the large investment in its diesel engines. And at the moment, those two tasks are as contradicting as they come.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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