Understanding the Volkswagen Diesel Scandal
Many people across the United States and even around the world are aware that a serious scandal has erupted with the Volkswagen automotive company. However, the details behind the scandal are still unclear to some.
Volkswagen’s clean diesel vehicles were specifically marketed as environmentally friendly vehicles that put less pollution into the air. The company was required to go through emission tests to prove their vehicle’s environmentally friendly impact, which they passed. However, although the vehicles passed official tests, discrepancies began to show up in real-world tests. For example, a test conducted by researchers at West Virginia University found that VW’s emission levels were 35 times more than the reported amounts. Only after this data became public and the Environmental Protection Agency threatened to halt sales of their 2016 clean diesel vehicles did VW admit to their cheating scandal. So what exactly did Volkswagen do? In over 11 million cars worldwide, VW installed an illegal device in the vehicles that could detect when an emission tests were being performed known as “defeat devices.” When the device was activated, it would give emission levels that were up to 40 times less than the actual amount that was emitted while driving. Not only were the devices illegal, but VW had blatantly violated the Clean Air Act with their vehicles putting illegal amounts of dangerous pollutants into the air.
Affected models include 2009-2015 TDI Volkswagen Golfs, Jettas, Jetta SportWagens, Beetles, and Audi A3s with a 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine. However, even more affected cars continue to come into light. The Volkswagen scandal continues to negatively impact the largest automobile maker in the world, with stock plummeting 30 percent and lawsuits piling up. In addition to massive fines facing the company, many suspect the reputation of Volkswagen has been irrevocably damaged. No official recall has been announced yet.