The fallout from the Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal continues to spread. The company has now admitted to manipulating its carbon emissions data, expanding the scope of its chicanery from relatively localized pollutants (nitrous oxide emissions) to what greens would label a global problem, thanks to carbon dioxide’s role in climate change. Reuters reports:
Several Volkswagen engineers have admitted manipulating carbon dioxide emissions data, saying the ambitious goals set by former Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn were difficult to achieve, Bild am Sonntag reported. The paper said VW engineers tampered with tyre pressure and mixed diesel with their motor oil to make them use less fuel, a deception that began in 2013 and carried on until the spring of this year. […]
According to Bild, Winterkorn declared at the Geneva auto show in March 2012 that VW wanted to reduce its CO2 emissions by 30 percent by 2015 and the engineers did not dare to tell him that this would be difficult to achieve.
VW seems to be engaged in its own separate struggle over picking its scapegoat, with the leading candidates being the engineers mentioned in the above report and the former CEO Martin Winterkorn, but it’s hard to imagine pinning this brouhaha on a single patsy.
The German carmaker sought and even actively carved out regulatory blind spots in order to boost its bottom line. It wasn’t the first company to do so, and it certainly won’t be the last, but its humiliation in these recent weeks ought to serve as a reminder that there remains plenty of profit motive for the unscrupulous to package products as eco-friendly without actually doing the due diligence to back those green claims up.