Emissions and omissions


So VW got caught defrauding people and lying to the US Govt. They failed to manoeuvre their cars into the tight parking spot of low cost, high performance and low pollution. So now they are undertaking a hapless PR campaign and attempting to mollify an outraged US administration (that almost certainly makes more pollution per second itself than any car company…depleted Uranium is going to be hard to remove from large parts of the Middle East.)

VW are currently involved in a round of ‘relentless clarifications’ followed up by the ritualised public sacrifice of engineering staff.

Sorry, but I don’t believe for a second that this problem has been caused by a small group of rogue engineers. Much more likely is that sales-hungry management threatened everyone with the sack if they didn’t pass emissions tests (have you seen Rainman -that scene where they are lying to Lambo buyers?) The engineers created a clever, but unethical fix that everyone knew about. Ok, maybe they didn’t know the details of the code, but I’ll bet some board members were fully aware of this interim ‘solution’.

Don’t be surprised if this issue affects lots more vehicle manufacturers (that are crazy enough to make diesels, like the one above…ahem).

The Germans seem particularly poor at dealing with PR. VW group’s chosen global spokesman is currently speaking in German during interviews in the States. Does this fiasco remind you of another legal case in America involving a car company which included a few handfuls of defective parts and nearly lost the entire Gesellschaft?…nobody died in the 996 debacle, but Porsche managed to turn a relatively small engineering issue into a reputational pile-up.

If this is a billion dollar problem, maybe more engineers should be on the boards of engineering companies.



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