Volkswagen scandal exposes big business | What's Left

The magnitude of the Volkswagen scandal can be boiled down to this: Volkswagen consciously installed software in some of its diesel-fuled models that would ensure cars would pass regulatory CO2 emissions standards, but only in the event of a test.

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Volkswagen, a prized and reputable car giant has for years been polluting the air we breathe in what is now known to be a scandal of deception and cheating of great proportions. 11 million vehicles world-wide have been affected. The numbers being floated as what Volkswagen could potentially face in fines are vertiginous.

At face value, the scandal has brought consternation to Germany’s car manufacturer. Reactions from the public all over the world have been one of shock and awe: a cherished maker of cars had cheated consumers on two fronts: by installing spy software in their cars, and by skirting environmental regulations. On both accounts, Volkswagen faces a long road ahead to live them down.

Now, chances to expose big business in this way are few are far between. If anything, the Volkswagen scandal should confirm that “corporate accountability” is not backed up with adequate oversight from governments. As companies become bigger and more international, what is the proper way to avoid such deception and maintain international standards that respect basic principles of living together as a society?

More: Volkswagen Says 11 Million Cars Worldwide Are Affected in Diesel Deception

More: Volkswagen Scandal: Why Is It So Hard to Make Clean Diesel Cars?