VW Caught in Global Scandal for Cheating Emissions Tests With Secret Engine Software

The German giant automaker is in hot water for secretly programming their diesel model engines with software that would help the vehicles pass emissions tests. Here’s CNN Money:

Volkswagen is being engulfed by a growing crisis over its attempt to make millions of diesel cars appear cleaner than they are.

The scandal broke Friday, when U.S. regulators said the German company had programmed some 500,000 vehicles to emit lower levels of harmful emissions in official tests than on the roads.

Volkswagen stunned investors Tuesday by admitting that the problem was much bigger than that: internal investigations had found significant discrepancies in 11 million vehicles worldwide.

“Millions of people all over the world trust our brands, our cars and our technology. I am deeply sorry we have broken this trust,” said CEO Martin Winterkorn. “I would like to make a formal apology to our customers, to the authorities, and to the general public for this misconduct.”

The company set aside 6.5 billion euros ($7.3 billion) to cover the cost of recalls and other efforts to limit the damage, trashing its profit forecast for the year in the process.

Shares in Volkswagen (VLKAY) plunged 17% Tuesday, after suffering a similar crash Monday. About a third of the value of the group has been wiped out in two days, causing big losses for major shareholders such as Qatar.

I wonder if this is an example of industrial sabotage by a competitor or even a government agency. The program could have been installed by an undercover agent, knowing that eventually it would be found out and would bring down the company or at least damage its reputation and Germany’s. It just seems a little odd that the CEO was so forthcoming with the issue, going so far as to admit that the problem was worse than they initially thought. If he were involved in any way, he’d be more likely to try to cover up the scandal, not conduct an internal investigation and publicly announce that the problem was actually bigger.

Of course, the whole thing is a little silly. This is only a scandal, because of government regulations over vehicle emissions. It all has to do with the scam of global warming and the stupid laws that go with it. Getting yearly emissions tests on your cars is just one way they make money.

Volkswagen’s diesel models are very fuel-efficient. My dad’s Jetta gets close to 50 miles to the gallon. But people, particularly on the left, have this idea that diesel is “dirtier” than gasoline. In reality, when considering the fuel efficiency of a modern diesel engine, it’s actually cleaner than gas. Yet diesel is so stigmatized in our country.

The real scandal here is that the government is so involved in regulating everything and has been for so long that we’ve grown accustomed to it. The EPA pretends to care about the environment and people’s health when it’s a private entity they’re dealing with, like Volkswagen. But when they screw up and dump tons of toxic waste down a river, it’s not that big of a deal. The government can break all its own rules, and we’re supposed to look the other way. But if others break their rules, they get skewered.