Volkwawagen is in serious trouble, and it’s all self-inflicted

It will be difficult, quite possibly impossible, for VW to fix their diesels. Other diesel manufacturers spray urea onto exhaust fumes to cut down on pollution. Volkswagen doesn’t, because they said their engines were hyper-efficient. They lied. Instead, Volkswagen was engaging in deliberate, years-long, massive fraud. Retrofitting urea injectors into 500,000 diesels may be nearly impossible, assuming anyone still wants them and class actions lawsuit don’t force VW to buy them back.

The stock has cratered. Governments will impose huge fines. There will be class action lawsuits. Potential car buyers will stay away.

Once hugely respected Volkswagen has managed, probably irrevocably, to destroy its brand. Those at the top and all responsible for the fraud are criminals. My guess is it will eventually get sold off in pieces (Porsche, Audi), leaving an empty shell that will then go bankrupt.

Everyone wondered how VW met emissions standards while foregoing urea injection. As it turns out, they didn’t. It wasn’t magical German engineering. Just plain old fraud.”

There’s no easy way out of this, but they’d better figure something out, and pronto. Right now dealers are banned from selling 2.0-liter TDIs, which make up about a quarter of VW’s U.S. sales.

The intentionality behind the deceit makes this situation different from even a huge-scale recall. This isn’t a story about a part that was made one cent cheaper than it should’ve been, where a car company cut a corner to save a little cash. It’s about a huge corporation eying the rulebook and deciding there’s a competitive advantage in violating the Clean Air Act. Incompetence is one thing, but calculated mendacity is quite another.

I am so tired of corrupt corporations. How about you?

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