Society

Volkswagen Has Suffered Enough From Smog Scandal

| by Shani Shahmoon

Volkswagen is paying a big enough price following their most recent scandal, known to many as "Deiselgate."

According to a Reuters timeline of Dieselgate, it all began in 2005 when VW engineers were building a new diesel engine that could fit into the strict United States pollution standards. These engineers created a software device that could cheat emissions tests. Over a decade later, the car group is seriously paying the price.

In May 2014, the company received a warning that the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) took notice of the difference between emission release in bench testing and road operation. And on Sept. 18, 2015, VW finally admitted to having 11 million smog-defective vehicles nationwide.

Since then, VW has taken one hit after the other, suffering greatly from their undeniably poor judgment call. And while everyone wants to see the company brought to justice, they should realize that the proverbial horse has already been beaten to death.

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In October 2016, the company agreed to spending $14.73 billion on buy-backs, compensation, and environmentally friendly programs -- and that’s just the start.

According to BBC, the company reported its first quarterly loss in 15 years -- at over $2.7 billion.

And while all of this seems like a small price to pay for risking our planet's livelihood, the monetary impact doesn’t stop there.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has the ability to fine a company $37,500 for each vehicle that is proven to break the standards expected of them. With VW admitting to about 11 million cars worldwide having this software, that puts them at a potential $18 billion in lost revenue.

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In addition to all of this, since the Dieselgate news broke, VW stock shares have gone down by around a third.

What people must remember is that while the car group outright messed up and delegitimized itself, it is still a large provider of jobs. With the company losing billions at a time, it has to be expected that those billions affect paychecks.

Fortune reported that VW has 610,076 employees worldwide. VW labor leaders have announced that the company plans to implement a 30,000-job cut over the course of the next few years. 

NBC News reported that this scandal has (so far) has cost VW car group around $30 billion dollars.

To put it into tangible terms, US News & World Report said that at the start of 2016, there were 322,762,018 people living in the United States.

With the money it has spent in recovering from Dieselgate, VW could have given every American that was alive at the start of 2016 around $92.

Instead, this mistake is taking away paychecks. So remember, every time you think VW is paying for its mistakes, its also being forced to take away pay from an employee.

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Sources: BBC, Reuters, Fortune, US News & World Report, NBC News / Photo credit: Pixabay

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