Photo from BBC UK.
By Kenneth Kim
It was reported that Volkswagen was caught cheating on air pollution tests. The Environmental Protection Agency discovered Volkswagen had installed software called “defeat devices” that lied about the amount of emissions their diesel cars were giving off. Ever since this scandal went public, Volkswagen has been doing poorly, and has failed to fight the claims.
In total, this software affected 482,000 cars in the United States, and 11 million worldwide.
Since this scandal went public, Volkswagen has been breaking apart. On Sept. 22, the company’s stock dropped 38 percent, and it is estimated the company is facing $18 billion in fines alone and an estimated $7.3 billion fees for costs to fix the cars. On Wednesday, Sep. 23, Volkswagen Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn resigned.
In wake of this scandal, there needs to be some serious legal action. Every day, technological advances seem to be increasing. With these increases, car-manufacturing competition also increases. With higher competition, every car company would go to great lengths to create a better product.
This competition might seem great for the consumers, but it could end up being detrimental. The competition can cause companies to create software with the intention to be beneficial, but in the heat of competition end up being rushed into production. This rush can lead to defects that go undetected and lead to serious problems and injuries.
To prevent this possible disaster scenario and other potential threatening cases, I feel there should be a greater regulation process in place. A universal intensive regulation process can be installed for all companies in the country to use. The process could be modified and revised every year to keep up with the latest technological advances.
The car companies can then post their performance on the regulation process on their website, so the consumer and public can see the honesty in the company’s product.
I recognize this process can seem over the top and time consuming, but I feel it is necessary. Without a comprehensive process in place, car companies can put the consumers at risk.
At the end of the day, car companies are competing. Instead of winning over the consumers, they put them in danger and lose them.
I feel that this process might take a while to take place, but by taking the necessary steps it will benefit both the company and the consumer in the long run.