Monday, October 26, 2015

Can Volkswagen Ever Be Trusted?

Volkswagen's faulty emissions scandal negatively impacted much more than air quality ("VW Employees Responsible for 'Dieselgate:' Where's the Legal, Moral, & Ethical Compass?" Philadelphia Business Journal, October 5, 2015)? Stanley W. Silverman, article author and Chairman of the Board at Drexel University College of Medicine, notes that it is likely that VW caused deaths as a result of adding to the air some "10 to 40 times more nitrogen oxides (NOx) than allowed by regulation" (see also: Cheating Cost 5 to 20 Lives a Year, Data Show from, October 6, 2015). Silverman suggests that a large number of employees had to know about this deliberate deception.

Discussion Questions:
  1. If you knew that your company was engaging in deliberate illegal acts, would you act with honor and blow the whistle? Why or why not?
  2. Should VW change its name? Would it make a difference in getting people to buy its vehicles? Why or why not?
  3. Should VW executives be fined instead of the company itself? Why or why not?

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