Four top executive of Volkswagen, including its CEO, have lost their jobs in the wake of the emissions-fixing scandal. Volkswagen diesel vehicles were found to have had software installed that turned on when the cars would be tested for emissions, and then turned off afterwards to allow them to have better acceleration and mileage. Up to 11 million vehicles are affected, and in the U.S. alone the cost of the company is said to be $8 billion. In the last five days, the price of the company's stock has dropped from $162 down to $112. And none of this takes into consideration how angry customer are who bought that vehicles -- even when Volkswagen fixes the software, as they've promised, these customers are still stuck with cars that will now get worse mileage and worse acceleration than promised when they bought the car.
Now comes a report that internal documents show that the company new about the deceptive software as early as 2007.
This is clearly an overwhelming problem for Volkwagen -- but also for Germany, for whom the company is one of the foundations of the economy. I feel very bad for the employees of any company who had nothing to do with causing the problem, but whose jobs could be affected. I do't feel bad for the company because a scandal of this proportion didn't happen by accident, and there had to be a lot of people who knew what they were doing. But mainly, though I know 80 years have passed and society has changed, and Germany is very open and admirable today about dealing with its past, and the company has changed, completely --but as unfair as one's memory may be to the present, I still can't get out of my mind that Volkswagen came to its initial success because of Adolf Hitler. So, whatever happens to the company...you're on your own here, guys.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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