Sunday, October 4, 2015

Volkswagen Scandal Tests Auto-Loving Germany

Wall Street Journal: Volkswagen Scandal Tests Auto-Loving Germany
By Ruth Bender
September 25, 2015

Article reviewed by Ayan Martin
Recently Volkwagen has been in the headlines for making false claims regarding emission levels in their vehicles. Many around the world and especially here in the US have probably asked "how could they have gotten away with that?!" The article I reviewed from WSJ's website provides a good reason; the government. 

The article states that unlike the US, Germany's auto industry and government have close ties. This is understandable as the article mentions that "one in seven people earn their living, directly or indirectly, from auto making," and vehicles is one of its most well known exports. However, the relationship between the two groups was too close for comfort for the rest of the world. According to the article, in 2013 Germany blocked tough EU emission restrictions that would have devastated German auto makers. The article continues to discuss the relationship between Volkswagen and various members of the government, and a deputy floor leader of the Greens plainly states "in a sort of companionship with the auto industry, warnings were ignored." The Transport Ministry is now involved and stating that the government was trying to get tougher emission testing standards. This makes me wonder if the German government is trying to clean up the mess with the auto industry as a whole, or leaving Volkswagen to fend for themselves and trying to avoid any accusation that they had any part in the wrong doing.

The section in chapter seven on Green Marketing Legislation really represents this article. It's interesting though that the book states "Germany has passed the most stringent green marketing laws," but I guess stating true results with car emissions wasn't part of those laws. I wonder how many people who have purchased a Volkswagen will trade in. I also wonder how many Volkswagen vehicles parked in the "low emission" parking spots in the garage at work will be asked to move.

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