The Volkswagen (VW) Emission Cheating Scandal

1519 Words 7 Pages
Business Ethics

Assignment: The Volkswagen (VW) “emissions cheating” scandal
Submitted to
Prof. Achal Raghavan

Submitted by
Group B8
Ashwin Bhandare (155027)
Chiranjeev Hazarika (155039)
Sagar Pednekar (155089) Sonakshi Chopra (155130)
Udit Agrawal (155142)

Section: B
Submitted on

Volkswagen is a German car manufacturer established in 1946. At present, Volkswagen is the second largest manufacturer of automaker in world. To meet the EPA’s guidelines, Volkswagen installed software called “Defect Device” in its Diesel cars, which would detect when the vehicle is subjected to Nitrous Oxides’ test and would reduce the emission of Nitrous Oxides. While in normal condition, the car will emit Nitrous Oxides several
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It was totally against the code of ethics that company had set for itself.
C. Individual Issues
CEO’s & Higher Management: Top management were the ultimate decision makers. It was their ethical duty to be aware of what is happening in the company. Moreover, a such a high profile scandal could not have been possible without the involvement of top level management.
Employee’s/Engineers at Volkswagen: The defeat device was manufactured by the software engineers. They could have done so because of the instruction/pressure from the top management. Alternatively, they could have done so to without the knowledge of top management. In either case, they compromised with their integrity for their career aspirations or maybe it was fear of job security. However, there can be some mitigating circumstances involved but employees should be held morally responsible
Suppliers: The fact that one of the suppliers Bosch knew about this emission concerns in 2007 depicts that suppliers were well aware of the shortcomings of the VW models. Consequently, it raises the question of ethical behavior over the entire value chain of the automobile industry.(Gallagher)
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But in order to satisfy the EPA norms, it installed the ‘defeat device’ in its vehicles. Consequently, it violated many duties towards its customers.
Volkswagen had the duty to comply with the claims of reliability of its products’ performance. But it deceived its very own customers by violating the EPA norms, and obtained the, so called, reliable environmental safety certifications. In the process, it made the mockery of the customers who bought these vehicles based on the false premise that they are certified to be environment friendly. It violated their basic right to have an automobile, on which they can rely to be environment friendly.
Volkswagen also had the duty to avoid misrepresentation of the facts. However, the company advertised its vehicles to be environment friendly as well as fuel efficient and affordable. This offering was unique as most of its competitors were not able to offer all three benefits simultaneously. However, the environment friendly fact was completely false as the vehicles emission levels were forty times higher than the acceptable norms. In the process, it violated the basic right of the customer to choose products based on certain attributes and sold them a rather unattractive

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