Volkswagen has formally apologized for rigged emission tests resulting in criminal investigations. Procedures are currently underway, proctoring the CEO’s response. Hagens Berman, Seattle-based law firm, has undertaken legal processes against Volkswagen. Seeking class-action status following the Environmental Protection Agency’s press conference, Hagens Berman intends to further its allegations against Volkswagen.
The scandal, itself, heavily impacted Volkswagen’s United States image. Now affecting its European market, the company faces great losses due to its cheated emissions tests. The automaker has confirmed over 11 million of its own diesel vehicles utilized exploitative software capable of duping emissions tests. Originally, the vehicles disclosed amounted to approximately 20 times less than newly revealed numbers.
While insurance coverage, driver safety and general maintenance are a driver’s prime considerations, emission detection is, usually, a manufacturer’s responsibility. Within the United States alone, Volkswagen has faced a variety of opposing group investigations. New York attorneys currently seek remedies for owners. Senator Bill Nelson, Florida Democrat, has similarly asked the Federal Trade Commission for a formal inquiry.
Where effects are considered, Volkswagen faces considerable fallout from the Justice Departments probe. Reportedly, Volkswagen had rigged approximately 482,000 U.S-based diesel cars, intending to overcome emissions tests. The result: share losses of 18.6 percent. Investors have greatly affected Volkswagen’s shares, spurred on by the criminal probe’s disclosure. The German automaker, while the world’s largest vehicle manufacture across 2015’s initial months, ended at 132.50 Euros ($149.32) down, and at 30.20 Euros ($34.11) in trading, across Europe.
While Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn refuses to authorize the official responsible for verification, he has offered a formal apology. On Sunday, Volkswagen halted affected model sales, further stalling the automaker. Volkswagen has additionally taken fire from the House Energy Committee’s oversight subcommittee. The subcommittee has announced its intentions to view Volkswagen’s case in upcoming weeks.
Currently, investors are adapting to Volkswagen’s decision to halt four-cylinder diesel car sales in the U.S. understandably, Volkswagen refuses to continue sales until each fooled regulator is properly remedied. The software, capable of ‘fooling’ regulators into smelling clean diesel scents, will be removed, individually, from affected lines.
The same cars will then undergo proper industry action, adhering to manufacturing emission standards. While emission compliance is an end goal, Volkswagen fully understands its need to uphold safety, design compliance and brand image. Monday’s Fitch Ratings have revealed the scandal’s ability to greatly impact Volkswagen’s credit rating. That said, Volkswagen does perform well in the global market. While U.S based operations are impacted, its global image may still remain stable.
Volkswagen’s Reputation and Industry Standards
While Volkswagen is stable, however, it faces brand-image-based consequences. Regarded as a clean provider, its brand image assets are likely impacted by the scandal. Volkswagen faces decreased reputation with consumers and regulators alike. Last Friday, California state regulators and The Environmental Protection Agency alike accused the company of installing a “defeat device” to sidestep industry guidelines. In essence, Volkswagen’s decision to evade environmental policies may damage its perceived goodwill. Consumers often meet deception with worry, even justified anger.
Volkswagen isn’t the first automaker to face criminal probing, either. Criminal probes have recently been implemented to view potential wrongdoings, focusing on big-name suppliers while upholding environmental standards. Recently, General Motors has agreed to pay $900 million to remedy a case created from criminal probing. The criminal probe, itself, indicated the company’s use of faulty ignition switches. Criminal probes, themselves, aren’t adherent to only software dupes. They’re conducive to rooting out a wide array of wrongdoings. General Motors, now, is compensating for 124 relevant, accident-related deaths.
Communication and Deception
At its core, such scandals rotate around deception. The General Motors crisis was, first and foremost, attached to the automaker’s failure to communicate and flawed bureaucracy. Of course, General Motors lawyers and engineers did fail to fix deadly defects, pushing the problem to omission, not commission. A similar case appeared with Toyota: It recently dealt with an acceleration crisis, resulting in public opinion via failure of public disclosure.
Where safety problems are considered, Volkswagen weighs in less in terms of vital damages. It does, however, garner much attention from its intent to deceive. Deception in the auto industry is a commonly sought-after problem. While Volkswagen hasn’t been identified as the causer of any fatalities, its proactive approach to industry duping is worrying.
Volkswagen’s approach to emission duping was a concentrated effort. It was well-coordinated and pre-determined. The scandal’s reveal heavily impact’s the auto industry’s viability in terms of credibility. While General Motors and Toyota, alike, have harbored scandals capable of damages—even death—Volkswagen’s greatest fatalities lie within cost. While the shift may not be a paradigm shift, industry impactors have considered the possibility of a new layer—one which, when capable, can exploit manufacturing necessities to fulfill industry rules.
Volkswagen has, however, stated it would set apart $7.3 billion in cost accommodation. Focusing on the emission scandal’s chief expenses first, the automaker, apparently, intends to focus on The Environmental Protection Agency’s claims first. Currently, the Environmental Protection Agency holds enough authority to charge Volkswagen up to a grand $18 billion for its violations.
The Automotive Landscape and Future Scandals
As stated above, industry leaders have become increasingly wary of new, similar events. The current automotive landscape may be rife with scandal, hinted at only by Volkswagen’s cheating. Intentional nature is disquieting, because it suggests widespread occurrences. If one automotive provider cheats, others may cheat, too. The German automaker’s accusation reveals an almost radical need to fulfill emission standards, too, where previously revered auto providers are willing to cause industry calamity.
While Volkswagen has failed to meet its end goals, other providers may still be utilizing similar dupe methods. While emission targeting software is likely a niche creation, similar regulations may be falsely impacted by another provider’s will. As Volkswagen is further investigated, industry decision makers will guarantee keep supervision. While those responsible for rooting out Volkswagen’s deception, other unrevealed facts still promise to please. Hopefully, more information will shed additional light—light capable of identifying similar dupes.
Contact an Attorney Today
If you are the owner of a 2009-2015 diesel Volkswagen automobile you may be able to file a suit against Volkswagen. Contact our attorneys today for a free consultation about your potential claim.