Volkswagen CEO: Using Deceptive Software Was Wrong - InformationWeek

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Volkswagen CEO: Using Deceptive Software Was Wrong
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moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
9/25/2015 | 7:14:15 AM
Re: Is it the individual or the culture in which they operate?
@Thomas Claburn

The Kia and Hyundai cheats are also due to not prescribing and verifying the test conditions under which these measures were taken. Such tests should be conducted by a third party like UL or TÜV.

As far as individual or culture, it is the culture. I am convinced that there were plenty of minions who spoke up and claimed it was wrong, but had the choice of going along with it or losing their job, if not even get sued for disclosing business secrets.

I am sure VW has a rough quarter now, but in the end it will nothing more than a larger blip on the balance sheet. Stock is already rebounding and financially VW has no worries, half of the company is owned by the German state Lower Saxony, so it would be taxpayers in the end who have to cover expenses.

The culture that favors cost cuttings and sales over everything, especially quality, will eventually generate such major fails. For the longest time I suggest that Ethics must be a mandatory course for any science, business, and engineering graduate. Maybe that helps to prevent things like this.
SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
9/23/2015 | 9:46:09 AM
Re: Is it the individual or the culture in which they operate?
@Thomas: They would probably "refurbish" these cars (or claim to) and send them to Chinese or Indian markets. 
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
9/22/2015 | 4:49:29 PM
Re: Is it the individual or the culture in which they operate?
Interestingly, Hyundai and Kia cheated in a smarter way than VW, though they were still caught. The two South Korean car makers manipulated tests for favorable results without resorting to software trickery.  

From the EPA: "For example, Hyundai and Kia restricted their testing to a temperature range where its vehicles coasted farther and faster and prepared vehicle tires for optimized results. In processing test data, Hyundai and Kia chose favorable results rather than average results from a large number of tests. In certain cases, Hyundai and Kia relied predominantly on data gathered when test vehicles were aided by a tailwind."

So there's probably a lot of cheating that goes on. Some of it is just more obvious.
stevew928
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stevew928,
User Rank: Ninja
9/22/2015 | 3:20:37 PM
Re: Not wrong unless you get caught???
Yea, it's a wrong on so many levels!

And, whether Martin should resign or not, we should be seeing a lot more owership of the problem and intended action, not the start of an investigation.
stevew928
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stevew928,
User Rank: Ninja
9/22/2015 | 3:18:23 PM
Re: Is it the individual or the culture in which they operate?
Good point. I'll give VW credit that their apology is at least more straight-forward than most. But, I hope we see a lot more action into what they are actually going to do about it.

The 'investigation' part of it really makes me think they won't, though. What's to investigate? Sounds like the start of a 'shift the blame' strategy aready.
mak63
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mak63,
User Rank: Ninja
9/22/2015 | 2:43:00 PM
Re: Not wrong unless you get caught???
This is more than a simple wrong. More pollutants means more health issues for many. My asthma symptoms this year have been the worse that I have recently. Who couldn't say that this is directly linked to all the driving that stevew928 has been doing.
Martin Winterkorn should resigned, if he has any shame at all left.
glenbren
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glenbren,
User Rank: Ninja
9/22/2015 | 2:34:51 PM
Re: Is it the individual or the culture in which they operate?
Makes me wonder what else they cheated on? What about the other auto makers?
stevew928
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stevew928,
User Rank: Ninja
9/22/2015 | 12:54:41 PM
Re: Is it the individual or the culture in which they operate?
This was something that took a lot of work and planning. It wasn't just an oversight or mistake.

I don't see any good way of explaining it outside of.... "well, we thought we could get away with it... sorry" which doesn't instill much confidence.
stevew928
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stevew928,
User Rank: Ninja
9/22/2015 | 12:50:48 PM
Not wrong unless you get caught???
The question is... why did they do it? Are they operating on the subjective-not-wrong-unless-you-get-caught morality that is becoming so prevalent these days? I guess so.

It's not like this is an oops moment. This took a LOT of planning and implementation. They clearly did it to thwart the policy, hoping they'd never get caught.

But, here's the problem. I bought one... a 2010 Jetta TDI. I love the car, and have been quite proud of it. I've hailed it as a pretty good 'green' alternative to hybrids and electric cars. So much for all of that, huh? I just got back from a trip through the the mountains of BC (Canada) where I averaged about 40 MPG (while also averaging over 80 MPH through much of it). It's simply a stellar car... but I guess stellar by cheating?

So, next time I take it in, are they going to 'fix' it with a software update that kills the performance I love about the car (that's why I bought it... I'd have bought other vehicles if fuel-economy were my only concern)?

Are they going to refund my purchase price if I'm no longer happy with it? (or, pay me the current/previous market value for it? Or allow a fair trade-in? etc.)

Will I ever trust them again and buy another VW? They've got a lot more than an oops on their hands here!
Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
9/21/2015 | 6:36:17 PM
Is it the individual or the culture in which they operate?
This a black eye for Volkswagen. How often do people talk themselves into doing what they think "has to be done," only to find how much cheaper and better in the long run if they had just concentrated on doing it right the first time. I don't think it's always one or two individual at fault. It's more the culture in which they operate, make promises, meet deadlines, etc., whether realistic or not.


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