Volkswagen Fuel Emission Scandal

As many of you have probably heard, Volkswagen have recently come under fire for fitting certain models with software known as a ‘defeat device,’ which essentially enables their cars to pass strict tests determining whether they are deemed safe for the environment.
The number of cars that Volkswagen admitted to being affected by this has climbed from the original number of 482,000, which they claimed only affected vehicles in America, to a possible 11 million cars distributed worldwide. This means that millions of unsuspecting car owners have been emitting a harmful amount of nitrogen oxide from vehicles they were led to believe were environmentally friendly since as far back as 2008.
The use of these ‘defeat devices’ means that cars such as Beetles, Audi A3s and certain models of the Golf, to name just a few, appear to be a lot cleaner and more environmentally friendly than they actually are. Volkswagen have been knowingly misleading not just regulators, but customers worldwide, by lying about the amount of harmful emissions and pollution being released from their vehicles.
Quite rightly, there are now widespread concerns over whether the installation of this type of device is common practise amongst manufacturers in the car industry. It would be unethical to tar each company with the same brush, however, if it turns out that one large company has been cheating the system in such a devious way, it does call into question whether rival manufacturers have taken similar actions in order to keep up with the competition and increase the performance of their own models.
This recent scandal is particularly worrying when we take into consideration the fact that pollution is responsible for taking 12,000 lives per year in Britain alone. This number could be significantly reduced if only big names such as Volkswagen started being honest about the amount of harmful chemicals released by their products instead of simply being profit focused. The exposure of Volkswagen’s deceitful ways is also concerning as it makes you wonder how and why they have been getting away with using this software for so long and calls into question whether the regulations put in place regarding harmful chemicals being released into the environment are too lax.

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