The CEO of Volkswagen, Matthias Mueller, claimed to have been completely unaware of the false emissions reports, but regardless of this, he is completely responsible for the behavior of the employees and for condoning poor business ethics within the Volkswagen company. The engineer who was accused of falsifying the reports helped the auto maker install so-called defeat devices on diesel-powered vehicles after he and his colleagues realized the engines couldnt meet stringent U.S. emissions limits while maintaining the fuel economy and performance customers expected (Roberts & Spector, 2017).
If I was the CEO of Volkswagen it would be embarrassing to have this sort of publicity for my company, but I could never justify such unethical actions to take place. I completely understand how the company wouldnt want to pay the insane costs to redevelop the engines in the vehicles, but those costs do not even compare to the embarrassment and fines that the company received in turn.
I would always want my employees to have their best work practices in my company and to never be scared of expressing even the smallest concerns with upper management. The company is obviously needing a complete restructuring and branding of their culture after this scandal because, The engineers help included extensive debriefings with the government in which he provided an insiders perspective of a company that had lost its ethical moorings in pursuit of increased market share and corporate profits, prosecutors said. (Roberts & Spector, 2017).
Again, the entire company culture is to be blamed for this situation, as this was not the effort of just one person. This was obviously an organized effort on behalf of the Volkswagen lawyers and engineers to falsify the reports. Volkswagens conduct is quite egregious, a concerted fraud around the core value proposition of clean diesel (Lippe, 2015).
I dont believe that just changing the culture of the company would solve all the problems that are being presented, but it is a good start. Another addition that the company could make would be a third party that could help evaluate testing, enforce regulations, and ensure that all standards are being met at a global level. If Volkswagen were to put these best practices into play, they would be proving that they took this scandal seriously and are assuring everyone that they will not be back in this situation again. In this scandal Volkswagen was facing fines around $24 billion, but these could have been avoided had they had another source of auditing in place. There are many other countries, such as South Korea and Japan, that are making sure that all of their inspections are compliant with the regulations that are currently in place. The practices in Japan and South Korea follow the scripture of Proverbs 10:9, Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out (ESV).