Ethical Issues In Volkswagen

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Introduction On the 18th of September 2015, Volkswagen, one of the world’s leading automobile companies got caught cheating the emission tests and installing the defeat device, an emission controlling software, in 11 million cars, which produced up to 40 times more toxic fumes than permitted. The study suggested that the impact of the scandal would result in high casualties over time, and the company was charged with fines up to 20 billion dollars that dwarfed the previous record. [5] The Volkswagen scandal has raised widespread ethical concerns regarding the engineering practices in the automobile industry. This report will identify the causes and investigate the main ethical issues and related ethical guidelines of engineers which have…show more content…
Even though they knew the inability of the defeat device to show the desirable performance in the actual run, they have decided to proceed with the fraudulent plan due to higher cost in safety measures, neglecting the public safety. [5] Through their actions of pursuing the cheating system in spite of being fully aware of the discrepancy, they have breached the first section of the WFEO, which asserts that “the engineers are to refrain from fraudulent, corrupt or criminal practices.” Even if they made this decision because they had not known the threats cheating system that could bring to the public, they would still have breached the code of ethics because in that case, they failed to “keep themselves informed in order to maintain their competence” in their profession as the WFEO practice provision ethics clearly states. If they had decided to protect the environment before the company’s profitability in the first place, the scandal and its consequences could have been…show more content…
Taking a blind eye to potential risks means that a fraudulent act is conducted under the full awareness of the circumstances. Even though the engineers, regardless of their positions in the firm, had the opportunities to disclose the limitations of the defeat device and has found viable alternatives, they proceeded with the cheating mechanism. As described in the ethical implication section, the cause of the incident attributes combination of firm’s decision owing to the underrating punishment and prioritizing economic interest and the absolute compliance of the employees, which has been exacerbated by the company’s aggressive corporate. If the engineers had not overlooked the implications of their unlawful actions and instead provided a method that prioritized the public health without compromise, the accident could possibly have been avoided. This case demonstrates how engineer’s unethical decision, such as compromising public safety for financial maintenance and wrong justification of immoral practices, can result in irreparable damages in the public
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