Rarely does one individual’s decision make an ethical crisis entirely by itself. More often, someone’s unethical or illegal idea is adopted by other members of the company, and the problem grows within the organization until it erupts in headlines, bad publicity, or even criminal penalties. After the fact, the questions always arise: How did that happen? Did no one know what was going on? Why did not someone stop it?
Volkswagen found itself in just such a position when it was discovered that the software in the company’s diesel vehicles had been programmed to provide false data to regulators regarding the level of emissions produced by the cars during testing. While the scandal was discovered in 2015, the company and the industry are still dealing with the repercussions (Boston, 2019).
In his article “Volkswagen: Where Were the Lawyers?” Lippe (2015) questions the role that several groups within the company played in the scandal, most notable, the company’s lawyers and engineers.
Review this situation from legal, ethical, and Biblical perspectives. Fully explain the following:
As an employee or a manager in either the legal office or the engineering department, how would you have prevented this incident?
As the CEO of the diesel division of Volkswagen, how would you have responded when the situation became public? How would this response prevent future incidents?
Boston, W. (2019, September 25). Volkswagen CEO faces charges from scandal. Wall Street Journal. (Links to an external site.)
Lippe, P. (2015, October 13). Volkswagen: Where were the lawyers? ABA Journal. http://www.abajournal.com/legalrebels/article/volkswagen_where_were_the_lawyers/