September 18, 2015, Volkswagen stunned the world with its response to the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) notice that Volkswagen’s “clean diesel”
vehicles were found to be in violation of the Clean Air Act. In its response,
the German automaker conceded that it
had intentionally equipped its line of Turbo charged Direct Injection (TDI)
diesel engines with a “defeat device” that was intended to “bypass, defeat, or
render inoperative elements of a vehicle’s emission control system” during
emissions testing. Initial reports proposed approximately 500,000 Volkswagen
diesel cars, model years 2009 through 2011, were influenced by the device
& Valentine, 2016). The Chief Executive of the Volkswagen group of America,
Michael Horn, indicated that he knew about the potential trouble with the
company vehicle since spring 2014. He was told that the company’s engineers
would work with the Environmental Protection Agency to resolve the issue (Ivory
& Ewing, 2015). Later that year, he was assured by the company that a plan
was being developed to bring the vehicles into compliances.
this issue was known before the EPA disclosures show not only a failure of
ethical conduct by installing the “defeated device” but also how these issues
were not communicated within the organisation and to the public. These action
were unethical and conflicted with everything the Volkswagen Code of Conduct represents.
This also deceives the customer and other stakeholder of the actual level of
emissions and does damages to the majority of the stakeholder such as customers,
authorities, shareholders and environment.
If Volkswagen declines to recall
vehicles with defeat device, from 2015 onwards 140 premature deaths will take
place. In addition, health cost of $840 million will be caused by the
Volkswagen diesel cars (Chu, 2015). Besides that, the abundance of nitrogen
oxide to the natural environment by Volkswagen diesel cars results in acid
rains. The acid rains not only deteriorates the human wellbeing but also cause
major destruction on nature and natural resource. Finally, it is consider a
fraud since customer has the right to be completely aware of the standard quality
of whatever they are purchasing.
outcome of this outrage is that Volkswagen CEO, Martin Winterkorn, step down
and resigns days after the diesel scandal opens up to the world (Solutions,
n.d.). Albeit assuming responsibility for the events, he keep up that he was
unaware of the software used to cheat routine emissions tests. He has received
criticism regardless. In order to avoid this scandal to repeat itself, the
professional bodies should actively participate in professionals’ development
throughout their lives. Aside from that, the Software Engineering boards must introduce
and instigate the Code of Ethics for the software engineers from the moment they
enter the field. EPA of Europe should be more responsible and increment of the
seriousness of the testing procedures. The Volkswagen Group should increase the
involvement of independent third party for quality and environment relate affirmation.