Despicable corporate crime by Volkswagen

Volkswagen created a software program that turned on pollution controls only when the car was being tested for pollution controls; as a result, millions of VWs have been polluting up to 40 times the legal limit for the past seven years. And although they have stopped selling them this way, Volkswagen has not announced a recall. This can only be described as disgusting corporate criminal activity.

They are the worst kind of cheaters, arrogant, hypocritical and misleading in their advertising. What kind of a sick mind could even conceive such a trick? How stupid is the management that it let this go on for seven years? Heads must roll throughout the management ranks, hefty fines and imprisonment must be meted out. No deals from the EPA. Everyone, please sell your shares. Everyone else, please sue Volkswagen for damages.

They have cheated their shareholders by destroying the brand, chiselled their competitors by avoiding the product development investments others made, ripped off their customers, selling them something that’s now nearly worthless, wreaked untold damage on Germany’s previously stellar reputation for clean tech, engineering excellence and integrity, and they owe the rest of us any money they have left for the damage they have done to our only home, the planet Earth. I have absolutely no sympathy for the Volkswagen management team. The more brutal the punishments the better. I expect it will destroy the company; and it should. There are undoubtedly good people who work there who have also been betrayed. Sadly, they should get their resumés in order now.

Unfortunately this is the ugliest example of green washing I’ve seen and it serves as a reminder that sometimes the market cannot be trusted to do anything but think about short term profits and bonuses. That’s why governments must make interventions into the market relating to issues like climate change. We must have strong regulations, a price on carbon and unmitigated punishment for despicable corporate crimes, like those committed by Volkswagen.