Back on September 18, 2015, U.S. Environmental authorities disclosed that VM installed software on about 500,000 diesel-powered vehicles in order to give the appearance of the vehicles being emission friendly. However, at that time, it was deemed illegal and subsequently, VM admitted to installing this software on 11 million vehicles.
A settlement was reached in the amount of $14.7 billion in June of this year. However, recent findings involving Volkswagen now jeopardizes this settlement. The reason, it is now found that other Volkswagen brands also had this software installed, including Audi. The way that Audi cars were caught was through lab testing. The technicians conducted the tests so that the Audi vehicles were made to react as if they were on a road turning the steering wheel. When these same vehicles were taken out of the lab, the CO2 admissions rose dramatically.
The current investigations concerning the Audi vehicles have a particularly interested party in European officials. The reason being that earlier this year Volkswagen had promised to pay for additional taxes for the higher CO2 emissions. Now that this extends to the Audi brands, there is a real concern that these vehicles may have emissions that are higher than legally allowed. In addition, these allegations could raise questions on the laws that were passed concerning strict regulation on greenhouse gases and not so much on nitrogen oxides.
This issue is quite intriguing because the question that now needs to be raised is not only how many cars received this illegal software, but what are the laws concerning nitrogen oxides, which can be harmful to the environment? As shown, there are strict laws on greenhouse gases but not on nitrogen oxides and it needs to be asked, how come?
In addition to the government side, there is also the question as to the management of Volkswagen, which appears for all purposes, willing to violate the law to make a substantial profit. What will happen to upper members of management, will they be tried to fullest extent of the law?