Volkswagen in Yet More Trouble
December 3, 2015 Leave a comment
Europe’s biggest auto manufacturer, Volkswagen, is in even more trouble as Germany investigates the company for tax evasion. You may remember a few months ago that it came to light that the company had installed software in 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide that lied to emissions measuring devices, allowing the vehicles to seem like they produced less carbon emissions than they actually did.
That was a huge blow not just to the company, but also to climate science. Suffice too say, not many people were happy with that. Since then, it also became apparent that they underreported carbon dioxide emissions, and therefor fuel consumption, for over 800,000 cars sold in Europe. German car taxes are based on fuel consumption, so those car owners paid less in taxes, which isn’t there fault, but Volkswagen’s.
So, the German government is now investigating that issue to see if they can hit the company for tax evasion, as the amount of money lost from those taxes is not inconsiderable. In addition to tax evasion, the company may face fraud charges as a byproduct of this investigation.
And this isn’t the only scandal currently going. Another, separate investigation into the company is looking for proof that employees committed fraud or violated competition laws on behalf of the company. Taken together, a number of employees could face criminal charges, and the company could face additional fines and penalties.
Volkswagen is one of the nation’s largest companies, and Germany is a pretty strong part of the European Union’s economy, so the fate of the company is rather important in the grand scheme of things. It also illustrates how interconnected economies are these days, and how the actions of one large company, for good or ill, can affect the lives of millions of people who don’t even work there or buy their products.