- Slides: 13
Volkswagen Emissions Scandal ETHICS QUIZ • Jaclyn Vangilder • Vincent Isopi • Laura Paz
• • • The Problem The software inside several VW models was modified The computer was able to sense when the car was being tested During testing the car reduced emissions below the legal limit While driving regularly the car saved fuel but increased emissions The original estimate showed 10, 000 cars sold since 2014 in the United States Over 11 million cars are speculated to have this software
How the System Works • Nitrous Oxide is trapped • The trap takes fuel to work • In an effort to save fuel or increase torque and acceleration, the trap was disregarded and not run • Released way over the legal limit Nitrous Oxide Trap
Discovery • A West Virginia researcher was testing 2 VW models with the 2 -liter turbocharged 4 -cylinder diesel engine • In urban traffic, emissions are supposed to be high • Driving on the highway, the VW models emissions did not go down. • When on a car treadmill, the emissions were fine
Ethical Protagonist • Martin Winkteron, Chief Executive, resigned as a direct result of the scandal. However, he denies any involvement in the issue. • Winkterton was replaced by Mattias Mueller the former boss of Porshe • Due to widespread scope of issue in the United States and the United Kingdom, corporate must have been involved in some way.
Ethical Protagonist Continued • Two Engineers Responsible: Ulrich Hackenberg and Wolfgang Hatz • Hackenberg was one of Audi’s Chief Engineers. • Hatz was the developer of Porshe’s formula 1 and Le Mans racing engines. • They were two of the engineers suspended in the investigation of the scandal.
Central Ethical Issues • The engineers involved used the device to falsify emissions so their vehicles were able to further pollute the environment. This violates sections One of the code of ethics which states: “Engineers in fulfillment of their professional duties shall; Hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public. ” (NSPE code of Ethics Section I. part 1) • The engineers used the devices to lie to both the EPA and their shareholders. This violated sections II. And III. of ethics. • “Engineers shall not falsify their qualifications or permit misrepresentation of their or their associates' qualifications. They shall not misrepresent or exaggerate their responsibility in or for the subject matter of prior assignments. Brochures or other presentations incident to the solicitation of employment shall not misrepresent pertinent facts concerning employers, employees, associates, joint venturers, or past accomplishments” (NSPE Code of Ethics: Section II. 5. a). • “Engineers shall acknowledge their errors and shall not distort or alter the facts (NSPE Code of Ethics Section III. 1. a). ” • “Engineers shall avoid the use of statements containing a material misrepresentation of fact or omitting a material facts (NSPE Code of Ethics: Section III. 3. A). ”
The two sides of the coin. . Protagonist Antagonists
Volkswagen violated the NSPE Code of Ethics I. Fundamental Canons 1. Hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public. 5. Avoid deceptive acts. 6. Conduct themselves honorably, responsibly, ethically, and lawfully so as to enhance the honor, reputation, and usefulness of the profession. II. Rules of Practice • 1. Engineers shall hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public. a. If engineers’ judgment is overruled under circumstances that endanger life or property, their employer or client and such other authority as may be appropriate. they shall notify d. Engineers shall not permit the use of their name or associate in business ventures with any firm that they believe is engaged in fraudulent or dishonest enterprise. person or e. Engineers shall not aid or abet the unlawful practice of engineering by a person or firm. f. Engineers having knowledge of any alleged violation of this Code shall report thereon to appropriate professional bodies and, when relevant, also to public authorities, and cooperate with the proper authorities in furnishing such information or assistance as may be required. • 5. Engineers shall avoid deceptive acts.
III. Professional Obligations • 1. Engineers shall be guided in all their relations by the highest standards of honesty and integrity. a. Engineers shall acknowledge their errors and shall not distort or alter the facts. b. Engineers shall advise their clients or employers when they believe a project will not be successful. • 2. Engineers shall at all times strive to serve the public interest. a. Engineers are encouraged to participate in civic affairs; career guidance for youths; and work for the advancement of the safety, health, and well-being of their community. b. Engineers shall not complete, sign, or seal plans and/or specifications that are not in conformity with applicable engineering standards. If the client or employer insists on such unprofessional conduct, they shall notify the proper authorities and withdraw from further service on the project. d. Engineers are encouraged to adhere to the principles of sustainable development in order to protect the environment for future generations. • 3. Engineers shall avoid all conduct or practice that deceives the public. a. Engineers shall avoid the use of statements containing a material misrepresentation of fact or omitting a material fact.
• Ethical Questions: What actions should be taken against Volkswagen? Volkswagen is currently facing a fine of up to $16 bn in the US alone and a possible criminal investigation. Mr. John German was asked about his opinion on this question, to which he repplied “That’s really up to others, I’m just an engineer from Michigan; it’s really beyond my field of reach. ” Volkswagen lacked ethics in their decision making, because they cheated on emission tests. In addition, before being accused of using a cheating software, they had the opportunity to fix their problems in an ethical way, but instead they decided to keep using the device. • Due to what happened in the Volkswagen case, should other companies face investigations as well? According to the NSPE code of ethics, engineers shall “work for the advancement of the safety, health, and well-being of their community. Moreover, part III. 6. b of the code of ethics states that “Engineers in governmental, industrial, or educational employ are entitled to review and evaluate the work of other engineers when so required by their employment duties. “ For this reason, we got to the conclusion that automobile companies should definitely face an investigation in order to protect the environment for future generations.
Sources: • • http: //fortune. com/2015/10/05/volkswagen-engineers-scandal/ • http: //www. nytimes. com/2015/09/23/business/international/volkswagen-diesel-carscandal. html http: //www. nytimes. com/2015/09/27/business/as-vw-pushed-to-be-no-1 -ambitions-fueleda-scandal. html http: //www. telegraph. co. uk/finance/newsbysector/industry/11906842/Five-questionsabout-the-VW-emissions-scandal-that-wont-go-away. html • • http: //www. bbc. com/news/business-34519184 http: //www. nspe. org/resources/ethics/code-ethics http: //www. nytimes. com/interactive/2015/business/international/vw-diesel-emissionsscandal-explained. html