Recently it came into news that Volkswagen had cheated the US regulators by installing a certain software that limits the amount of emission under test condition in it’s popular diesel engine TDI 2.0
Let’s have a closer look at what actually happened, what are the implications and why is it in so much in news.
The software had been installed on 11 million cars around the globe. So as soon as EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) started investigating and came out with a report, Australian and French authority have also started investigation. EPA had opened investigation back in 2014 and on September 18, US regulators Volkswagen of circumventing environmental rules on nearly 500,000 cars. Officially, EPA hasn’t charged VW yet.
- How did it come to light?
Of Course, global giant like Volkwagen must have had it covered. Right? No.
It was because of the efforts of two transport campaigners John German and Peter Mock. They were skeptical. All that the automotive engineers did was to check the cars’ emissions on road than just go by laboratory results which they did with UVW researcher and boom!
- So every vehicle thing pollutes. What’s the big deal?
Diesel cars are not so popular in US as they are in Europe. Let’s not talk about India because here almost every giant gets environmental clearance and we technically have no agency like EPA which just caters to this kind of things. Furthermore, there’s no conscience.The Nitrogen oxide emissions from these diesel vehicles have been linked to increased asthma attacks and other respiratory illnesses—these emissions from Volkswagen cars exceeded the US standards by up to 35 times! That’s something.
This only spells trouble for everyone. Apart from Volkswagen, the whole Euro zone largely depends on Germany and Germany on it’s primary exporters like these giant automakers, the sales and stocks are already down by 20%.
The VW CEO Martin Winterkorn has apologized and resigned. Porsche boss Mathias Muller has taken over.
- Volkswagen Group of America CEO Michael Horn admitted, “We’ve totally screwed up. Our company was dishonest with the EPA, and the California Air Resources Board and with all of you.”
- Volkswagen claims to have set aside €6.5 billion (around Rs.47,515 crore today) to pay for “necessary service measures and other efforts to win back the trust of our customers”.
Which still looks miniscule to what EPA might actually fine the company up to $37,500 (around Rs.25 lakh today) for each vehicle, adding up to a maximum fine of about $18 billion.
- Just for comparing, Volkswagen’s net profit last year was $15 billion. Company has already issue shareholder the warning for diminished profit this financial year.