Volkswagen doesn’t understand that the emissions scandal is an ethical one

EPA/MARTIN SCHUTT

Nitrogen oxide in combination with oxygen is a major air pollutant which leads to respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses, smog and acid rain, and cause premature deaths.

The editorial board of the New York Times wrote an opinion piece saying that the Volkswagen Group should have reacted differently following the emissions scandal


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The governing board of the Volkswagen Group (VW) seems unable “to understand that from the public’s point of view, the problem (about the emissions scandal) was not so much cheating on tests as concealing the threat that its cars posed to the health of the public,” New York Times wrote on February 16.

The editorial board of the New York Times wrote an opinion piece, two days ago, saying that according to reports, the VW is planning to offer “generous” compensation to American owners of the VW hacked diesel cars. Moreover, the US daily newspaper also reported that according to another report the German giant is considering blaming the US testing standards, claiming that the defeat device was not illegal according to the European emissions tests.

The New York Times criticized the EU regulators saying that they have adopted very lax car emissions test environmental adding that they “have long had an accommodating relationship with the auto industry.”

After the criticism, the authors underlined that the essence of the VW scandal is not the so called defeat device which cheated the US emissions tests but the fact that the hacked diesel cars endangered the life of the people. The stressed that all car makers, besides the VW, must understand that emissions testing, in the United States or in Europe, is not a purely technical hurdle but a health related issue.

The diesel cars produced 40 times more Nitrogen Oxide than the permitted US levels. However, the Nitrogen oxide in combination with oxygen is a major air pollutant which leads to respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses, smog and acid rain, and cause premature deaths. VW deceived the public (in America and Europe) about controlling the Nitrogen Oxide levels, “that is what the scandal is all about,” New York Times stressed.

Since VW is one of the largest automaker in the world, it “should have been the leader in clean diesel” as it claimed “to be in its loud Clean Diesel advertising campaign,” the article concluded.

On January, the Members of the European Parliament appointed the members for a committee which will be responsible for exploring the “failure of the European Commission to discover the emissions scandal,” acknowledging that the emissions scandal showed a regulatory weakness by both the Commission and the EU Member States.

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