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The Volkswagen X-File

<img src="volkswagen.jpg" alt="Volkswagen" width="300" height="200">

Shame on you, Volkswagen!

So, Volkswagen has been caught red-handed in one of the biggest fraud scandals in recent times. They not only lied to us all, they deliberately set out to commit fraud, to spread deceit and to sell cars to innocent and hard working people who never suspected such despicable behaviour from the oh-so-reliable and trustworthy maker of people’s cars. Shame on you Volkswagen, shame on you! You have disillusioned millions of people that swore by your products and that supported you for years; generations even.

What is it that Volkswagen did?

Volkswagen designed and installed special software in at least 11 million vehicles worldwide. This software was specifically designed to fool emission testing systems. In this way, Volkswagen were able to market these cars as environmentally friendly vehicles that passed all emission tests with flying colours. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, these vehicles actually fail to pass emission regulations of most western countries.

Most car manufacturers have had the painful experience of having to recall certain models due to some or other design problem. One could understand such problems, however. Mistakes are made, but they are admitted and the manufacturer simply grins and bears the embarrassment and cost. This is not the case with Volkswagen. No sir, there were no mistakes. They deliberately set out to deceive regulators, dealers and customers. They commuted fraud on a scale that boggles the mind. They did this in a methodical, well-planned manner.

What’s going to happen now?

There can be absolutely no doubt that Volkswagen is going to pay dearly. Governments will take them to task and they face fines worth billions of Dollar. But that is not the end of their woes. They have betrayed a sacred trust. Already their stock has plummeted by 30%. There will be criminal charges and heads are going to roll. Already the Volkswagen Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn departed the company in shame and scorn. There will be more like him.

But Volkswagen owners and dealers will also pay a heavy price. The resale value of these cars have dropped through the floor. Dealers are losing business at an unprecedented scale. The once treasured brand of Volkswagen has been damaged beyond repair.