The Volkswagen Emission Scandal

Posted: April 18, 2016


In the December of 2014, Volkswagen (VW) cited that close to around 482,000 of its vehicles in the United States emanated more NOx (nitrogen oxide) than indicated by the discharge tests. Weeks later, VW admitted that it might have received the estimates off-base. Presently an expected 11 million VW vehicles release 40% more nitrous oxide than the standards outlined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (Burki 2015). VW hasn't reported where these newfound imperfect engines operate from. However, it’s clear that models from 2009 forward are deeply affected. EPA detected an internal calculation that permitted VW's autos to cheat amid inspections. However, it has always been an expectation of the diesel vehicle drivers to have a vastly improved mileage than cars with petrol engines. Additionally, diesel engines are also known to be giving vehicles more capacity concerning hauling. On the other side, diesel autos emit more nitrogen oxide. Governments all over the globe have set regulations on the amount NOx autos may emit. Paris, for instance, has linked increments in NOx to smog, health hazards, corrosive downpour, and contamination. As now found, VW cheated about its NOx emanation volume (Coghlan 2015). In spite of being publicized as “earth cordial,” these autos are the reverse of the explanations earlier given by VW. In summary, drivers hoping to spare some cash on gas while not harming environment are paying for a high volume of gas while discharging hazardous chemicals into the environment (Burki 2015). Currently, Volkswagen has not set forward any aim of addressing the issue. However, the company plans to use $7.27 billion, which is roughly 50% of the organization's yearly average benefits, to remedy the misstep. The organization has said it will request that clients get their auto to refit for "non-duping" programming "in the next couple of days."

The Volkswagen Emission Scandal

Volkswagen abbreviated as VW is a car manufacturing company found in Germany. The main office of VW is in Lower Saxony, Wolfsburg; in Germany. It was founded in 1937 and is the namesake and top selling marquee of the Volkswagen group established in 1975. Behind Toyota, the company is the second largest global automaker. Additionally, it has three brand cars in the top 10 list of cars that are best-selling including Golf, Beetle, and the Passat. In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) realized that many cars sold in the United States owned by the VW had certain devices in their diesel engines that detected when being tested. Therefore, the device changed performance to improve on the result. Shockingly, the company’s top management has since admitted the vice in the United States and accepted to take full responsibility. This paper is an analysis of the inquiries into the Volkswagen scandal on diesel emission and how it affected the company regarding production output.

The Cause of the Scandal

In September 2015, EPA gave a violation of the clean air act to the VW group citing claims that the manufacturer had intentionally programmed the Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDI) engines that used diesel to activate emission controls during laboratory trials. The TDI triggered the vehicle’s nitrogen oxide emission to meet the standards of the US during the regulatory testing. In the real sense, it produced more than 40 times higher than the given output. In the United States for instance, close to 500,000 cars manufacture by VW from 2009 to 2015 had TDI software (Burki 2015). This was a total fail in the management of the VW Company as this scandal is considered more than a deceit to the consumers of the VW products. Moreover, the administration failed to alert the users on the inclusion of the TDI program that controlled the production of Nitrogen Oxide gas, which was more dangerous than the carbon IV oxide.

The claim by the Solid organs in the United States is the rigging of test emissions on the diesel cars. From the perspectives of the management, increased production of diesel cars would results in the increase of "greenhouse effect" or rather global warming, which according to them is a world disaster. Global warming occurs when exhaust gasses such as diesel emitted from engines deplete the ozone layer hence resulting to intense global temperatures (Brief 2015). According to the board of management, the 1997 Kyoto protocol outlined that diesel cars emit less of carbon (IV) oxide gas than regular petrol hence more of such kind should be produced to curb global warming. However, despite the fact that diesel produces less of Carbon (IV) oxide, the transition is troubling since more of nitrogen dioxide and nitrogen oxide are spewed to the environment than any other regular cars.

VW turned to be the target of regulatory examinations in different nations, and the company’s stock cost dove in quality by a third in the days after the scandal (Verchick & Steinzor 2015). The Group CEO Mr. VW reported arrangements to spend US$7.3 billion on correcting the emanations issues and wanted to refit the influenced vehicles as a feature of a review battle. The embarrassment brought issues to light over the larger amounts of contamination being transmitted by all vehicles constructed by an extensive variety of carmakers, which are inclined to surpass statutory emanation limits (Brief 2015). 

From the above table, the text in green shows the percentage difference from the previous day’s close while the line in red indicates the percentage difference on 17 September. Close to a quarter of the VW's sales in America are vehicles that are diesel powered (Brief 2015). The cooperation chose a market strategy that emphasizes on the use of clean diesel over hybrid electric or electric cars. The vehicles affected by the recall in America included the following models, all of which are 2.0TDI (Verchick & Steinzor 2015)

  • 2009–2015 Audi A3
  • 2009–2015 Beetle
  • 2009–2015 Beetle Convertible
  • 2009–2015 Golf
  • 2015  Sportwagen
  • 2009–2015 Jetta
  • 2009-2014 Jetta Sportwagen
  • 2012–2015 Passat

On 21 September 2015, which was the first day of notice after the EPA's Notice of Violation to Volkswagen got to be open, offer costs of Volkswagen AG fell 20% on the stock exchange of Frankfurt Stock. On the following day, the stock suffered another 12% for a 2-day aggregate decrease of 32%. On 23 September, the stock rapidly fell 10.5%, dropping underneath €100 to a record 4-year low before recovering some lost ground (Bongaerts 1999). The Share costs of other German automakers were additionally influenced, with Daimler down to 5.8% and BMW down to 4.9%. Qatar, which is one of the greatest shareholders of VW with a 17% stock in the organization, lost almost $5 billion as the organization stock worth fell.

Volkswagen has additionally expressed that close to 11 million cars sold worldwide are influenced notwithstanding the 480,000 cars with 2.0 L TDI motors sold in America. As indicated by Volkswagen, vehicles sold in different nations with the 2.0 L and 1.6 L 4-chamber TDI engine recognized as Type EA189 are also influenced (Bongaerts 1999). This product is additionally said to change the 2015 EA288 and the EA188 era of the four-chamber. Globally, around 2.1 million and 1.2 million Audis contain the product, which includes the Qs and TTs. VW however, clarified that Euro6 model in Germany is not influenced, while 2015 US demonstrates with the same EA288 motors are influenced.

This proposes typical operation estimations that place the EA288 NOx emanations between the two benchmarks' points of confinement were promptly accessible at VW home office in Germany (Markvart 2015). As indicated by Müller, the 2.0 and 1.2-liter models may be upgraded by programming, though the 3 million and 1.6 liters require solutions of various hardware, and a few autos may even be supplanted (Bongaerts 1999). The vehicles are diverse to the point that a broad range of solutions is required.

Related Scandals

 The Volkswagen TDI diesel outflows case is not the first utilization of annihilation gadgets, nor the first run the automakers have exploited their foresight of the particular lab test with a specific end goal to connect with emanations controls just amid testing. In 1973, Ford Motor Company, Chrysler, General Motors, Volkswagen and Toyota needed to evacuate surrounding temperature switches that influenced outflows (Bongaerts 1999). However, the organizations denied deliberate cheatings and said that techniques like improving fuel blend amid icy motor warm-up periods could lessen the pollution. The switches were ordered expelled from production yet autos already on the road did not need to be reviewed, and fines were moderately unobtrusive.

General Motors in 1996; required to pay a substantial record penalty of $11 million, and review 470,000 vehicles, since ECU programming modified to withdraw outflows controls amid conditions unknown when the vehicles were not being tested in the laboratory by the EPA (Markvart 2015) . The Cadillacs of the model year 1991–1995 were customized just to enhance the motor's fuel blend, expanding Carbon Monoxide (CO) and unburned Hydrocarbon (HC) contamination, whenever the auto's cooling or radiator was turned on since the testing convention indicated they would be off.


In 1998, Honda Motor Company needed to spend close to $267 million to revise the handicapping of the discharge failure observing gadget on 1.6 million vehicles of 1996 and 1997 model (Markvart 2015). Ford Motor Company had to pay $7.8 million for programming 60,000 vehicles of 1997 yea model with Economize vans to keep outflows little amid the 20-minute EPA test schedule, and after that incapacitating the emanations controls during highway cruising. Seven heavy truck manufacturers utilized another clock based technique for marketing purposes. The  Volvo Trucks, Detroit Diesel Cooperation, Cummins Engine Company, Mack Trucks, Renault Vehicules Industriels, Navistar International, and Caterpillar Inc., who in 1998 paid the biggest ever fine to date, $83.4 million. This was in the same way as Volkswagen, programming vehicles to keep NOx emanations little amid the test cycle, and after that crippling the controls and radiating up to three times the extreme during highway cruising (Coghlan 2015). VW being the second best in manufacturing vehicles across the globe must come out and explain the motives behind the software inclusion. As one of the largest companies, the scandal like this would defame the reputation of the company and thus must be avoided at all cost.


Bongaerts, J 1999 ‘Carbon Dioxide Emissions and Cars: An Environmental Agreement at EU Level’ European Energy and Environmental Law Review, Vol. 8, no.4, pp. 101-104.

Burki, T K 2015 ‘Diesel cars and health: the Volkswagen emissions scandal’ The Lancet. Respiratory medicine.

Brief, P 2015 ‘Policy Solutions to Reduce Vehicle Exhaust Emissions under Real-World Driving Conditions’ Policy.Washington,DC: The International Counsel on Clean Transportaion.

Coghlan, A 2015 ‘The curious case of NO x pollution’  New Scientist,  Vol.227, no. 3041, pp. 10-11.

Markvart, T 2015 ‘Do we need a solar power breakthrough?’ The Conversation. Southampton: eprints

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