Volkswagen Emissions Scandal

Staff Writer: Kendle Flint

On Sept. 18, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a Notice of Violation of the Clean Air Act to the German automaker, Volkswagen.

2009 VW Jetta

2009 VW Jetta

The company had programmed their 2009 model vehicle through 2015 TDI diesel engine so that U.S. standards (nitrogen oxides emissions) were met during emissions testing. About eleven million cars worldwide and 500,000 in the United States included this programming.

Five scientists at West Virginia University detected these additional emissions during a live road test. After this information was discovered, Volkswagen was the target of multiple investigations and experienced a major decrease in value. The CEO of VW, Martin Winterkorn, resigned and plans to refit the affected vehicles as apart of the recall campaign.

2009 VW Passat

2009 VW Passat

The scandal raised awareness of high levels of pollution and raised an important discussion. This discussion was brought about to address the software-controlled machinery that is prone to cheating. Besides the recall campaign, the only other resolution to the Volkswagen scandal is to have a software source code that is made available to the public.

Morgan Mauldin, a senior and Volkswagen driver at Woodstock High School, was asked what she would have done and how she would have felt if her car were a 2009 model that had this emissions scandal happen to her. She responded, “If my car was to be one that was a part of the scandal, I would be really shocked. After hearing about the VW issue on the news, I talked to my parents about what we would have done, if that were the case, and they said that we would no longer own a Volkswagen.” A problem that intense would make the Mauldin family and many other families with affected models do away with owning a Volkswagen, resulting in a decrease of the amount of business Volkswagen will receive.

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