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Compliance and Ethics Sputters at Volkswagen

Tom Fox | September 22, 2015

Sometimes you just do not think that things cannot get any weirder. The Man From FCPA has seen some great corporate FUBARs over the years, but the one announced last week may come close to taking the cake. Further in the world of compliance and ethics, it may provide one of greatest post-Enron teaching moments for some time to come. Of course I am referring to the burgeoning scandal involving Volkswagen and its diesel engine cars, intentionally designed to cheat emission standard testing, through software cleverly nicknamed “defeat devices.”  

Last week the U.S. government charged that VW had sold more than 500,000 Volkswagen and Audi model cars in the United States with software that was designed to meet emission standards for diesel engines when tested, but pumped out 30 to 40 percent above limit emissions when on the road. Like many of us, I waited over the weekend to hear what the company’s response might be this week. VW not only acknowledged that the U.S. government...

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